How a Slice of Spectrum Split the U.S. Government

Federal departments and agencies are lined up on different sides of a debate pitting the development of fifth-generation telecommunications networks against safety and national security concerns associated with the Global Positioning System. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday circulated a draft order to approve satellite communications company Ligado’s application for use of frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum that opponents say would interfere with the reliable operation of GPS applications. “The draft order that I have presented to my colleagues would make more efficient use of underused spectrum and promote the deployment of 5G and Internet of Things services,” Pai said in a press release.

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