Today, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller Gene Dodaro requesting an evaluation of how the Federal government, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) resolves spectrum interference issues and ensures that the spectrum is available to meet critical needs. Additionally, the Chairwoman and Ranking Member are requesting that GAO examine the lack of coordination among Federal agencies on the 24 GHz band and its potential to disrupt vital satellite data.
“We are deeply concerned about the potential for degradation of our nation’s weather forecasts from interference in the electromagnetic spectrum,” said Chairwoman Johnson and Ranking Member Lucas in the letter. “Contradictory statements between the FCC, NOAA, and NASA regarding the use of the 24 GHz band for 5G are concerning. Earth-observing satellites are critical for protecting the lives and property of the American people from severe weather. Further, the FCC is planning additional 5G spectrum auctions in the future that also have the potential to interfere with weather data collection on NOAA and NASA satellites. We must ensure there is an effective interagency process that can expand the availability of spectrum for future users while protecting existing federal spectrum needs.”