Biden lauds delay in 5G deployment, says it ensures flights won’t be disrupted

AP-Carolyn Kaster

President Biden on Tuesday commended the decision by two telecommunications giants to delay 5G technology deployment, saying doing so will ensure there won’t be disruptions in air operations over the next two weeks.

Verizon and AT&T announced on Monday an agreement to delay deploying 5G by two weeks, following pressure from the White House and airline industry over concerns the deployment would cause flight delays and interruptions. 

The 5G deployment is now set to take place on Jan. 19, pushed back from the originally scheduled deployment on Wednesday. Holiday travelers have faced thousands of canceled and delayed flights due to the COVID-19 surge impacting airline crews and major snowstorms.

“Last night’s agreement is a significant step in the right direction, and we’re grateful to all parties for their cooperation and good faith. This agreement ensures that there will be no disruptions to air operations over the next two weeks and puts us on track to substantially reduce disruptions to air operations when AT&T and Verizon launch 5G on January 19th,” Biden said in a statement on Tuesday. 

Biden said his administration is “committed to rapid 5G deployment,” as well as minimizing disruptions and maintaining safe airspace.

He added that the administration convened technical experts from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), the wireless industry and the aviation industry to discuss solutions ahead of the agreement.

“For the last few months, my Administration has been convening technical experts at the FAA, the FCC, and from the wireless and aviation industries to discuss a solution that allows the expansion of 5G and aviation to safely co-exist, and I am pleased those efforts helped produce yesterday’s agreement,” he said.

The president thanked Verizon, AT&T, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson and FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel for their work to get to the agreement.

Tags 5G AT&T Federal Aviation Administration Federal Communications Commission Jessica Rosenworcel Joe Biden Mobile telecommunications Pete Buttigieg Verizon
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