The rollout of 5G technology promised transformative benefits for consumers and the economy. But a protracted dispute between the FCC and FAA relating to 5G interference with airplane safety equipment prevented a smooth 5G rollout. While the FCC was giving wireless companies the green light to roll out 5G service, the FAA was warning of apocalypse if they did. What resulted was a turf war between the FAA and FCC, revealing a dysfunctional process (or lack thereof) for handling spectrum interference concerns. This Comment argues that the United States’ spectrum management system needs an overhaul to prevent similar agency turf wars over spectrum policy. This overhaul can be achieved partly by consolidating some spectrum management authority, currently dispersed between multiple agencies, in a single agency. And it can be achieved by enhancing coordination and cooperation between agencies where authority over spectrum policy remains dispersed.
Jace Breedlove, Rethinking Spectrum Governance After the FAA and FCC’s Turf War Over 5G,
J. Air L. & Com.