The FCC is poised to auction off a 5G bandwidth that is likely to interfere weather forecasts.
The FCC, which want to proceed with a 5G auction, is at odds with the commerce department, the defense department, and NASA.
The dispute regards wavelength frequencies currently used by public and private weather satellites, weather balloons, and ocean buoys to predict the weather.
NASA and the Commerce department have serious concerns.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine urged the FCC to remove a policy paper [bandwidth] proposal that “would have a significant negative impact on the transmission of critical Earth science data supporting public safety, natural disaster and weather forecasting.”
On Friday [March 8], the FCC rejected the request. It said that it had already “engaged extensively” with Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, and that matters had been settled by the State Department, the appointed “arbiter.”
Jordan Gerth, a researcher at University of Wisconsin’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, said that if this data were corrupted, it would harm the accuracy of weather models relied on by forecasters.
“Passive microwave observations from satellites drive three- to seven-day forecast skill,” he said.
“It is crucial the allowable levels of interference are decided in a way that is informed by atmospheric science since the measurements are so crucial to sound weather predictions,” said Renee Leduc Clarke, founder of Narayan Strategy, a weather and climate policy consultancy based in Washington.
Passive Microwave Energy
Today, the Washington Post reports FCC to auction off wireless spectrum that could interfere with vital weather data, rejecting requests from U.S. House and science agencies.
The Federal Communications Commission intends to move ahead with a plan to auction off wireless radio frequencies that scientists say could harm critical satellite data used in weather forecasting.
In a last-ditch effort to intervene, three subcommittee chairs from the House Appropriations Committee,