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Behind Today’s Contentious FCC Spectrum Auction

Fantastic article by Debra Werner, for SpaceNews, that explains the furor over today’s FCC spectrum auction:

At the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting in January, researchers and weather forecasters agreed 5G would offer many societal benefits and suggested it could be rolled in a way that would not interfere with weather sensors. The question is how much the 5G signals should be allowed to spill over into adjacent bands.

The FCC is proposing a noise threshold of -20 decibel watts.

“There is great concern that the FCC’s noise threshold will allow interference with weather and climate assets,” Johnson and Lucas said. A NOAA-NASA study recommended a noise threshold of -50 decibel watts, they added.

European regulators are proposing a noise threshold of -56 decibel watts, which is nearly 4000 times more stringent than the FCC’s proposed threshold.