The Federal Aviation Administration has said it will not seek any more delays from Verizon and AT&T in regard to their 5G rollout.
Verizon and AT&T have twice delayed their rollout of C-band spectrum, from December 5 to January 5, and now from January 5 to January 19. As we have covered extensively, the delays were sparked by concerns that C-band spectrum could interfere with aircraft altimeters.
Verizon made it clear it was planning on proceeding with deployment after this last delay, even issuing a press release promising customers they would have access to the faster 5G later this month.
“This massive launch will put incredible speeds, reliability and security in the hands of our customers and amplifies our offering of reliable home and business broadband options to more places around the country, well ahead of the commitment we made last year,” said Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon. “As 5G Ultra Wideband becomes available to more and more people and businesses, it will allow our customers to do more amazing things.”
In a letter to the carriers, US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, signaled there would be no further requests for a delay.
Thank you for your willingness to work with the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration to reduce the impact of 5G C-Band deployment on the national airspace.
Your voluntary agreement both to delay initial deployment by two weeks, and to subsequently adopt some additional mitigations, will give us additional time and space to reduce the impacts to commercial flights. We look forward to working with you to implement the steps in the attached term sheet. We understand you will work with the Federal Communications Commission to further memorialize the additional mitigations you are putting in place.
Thank you again for taking this meaningful step. We are confident that your voluntary steps will support the safe coexistence of 5G C-Band deployment and aviation activities, helping to retain America’s economic strength and leadership role around the world.
This appears to end a long, drawn-out saga for Verizon and AT&T, as well as the airline industry.