The weather forecasters responsible for letting millions knowing about weather patterns, including hurricanes and tornadoes, have warned yet again that plans to auction off radio spectrum for 5G mobile networks could have a dangerous impact on their efforts.The FCC is basically saying "U mad, bro?" which strikes me as a fairly reckless response. This is a pretty impressive group of organizations saying "Hold on, wait a minute". This seems like it needs a serious hearing.
The American Geophysical Union (AGU), American Meteorological Society (AMS), National Weather Association (NWA), American Weather and Climate Industry Association (AWCIA), National Hydrologic Warning Council (NHWC), and a dozen other weather groups, have sent letters to US comms watchdog the FCC asking it [PDF] to scale back or stop plans to auction off 5G spectrum to cellular operators because it will likely interfere with their systems – systems that relay vital weather sensor data back to base for analysis quickly enough to predict catastrophic events.
According to the weather folk, there is no good alternative to them using those particular radio bands. They need to send the data over the air because other means – like the internet – are not sufficiently robust in extreme weather conditions. Their equipment is set up to work at specific frequencies, linking countless sensors and gadgets out in the field to satellites and ground stations, and it's not just the case that they can shift bands.While I've only been vaguely near two tornados, I'm pretty happy to have weather reports that have improved substantially during my lifetime, This seems more valuable than faster download of cute cat videos.
Allowing mobile companies to send data over these frequencies would add a lot of noise to the system, they warn.
(OK, that video is hilarious, but it's still not worth risking getting caught in a tornado to be able to watch it faster on my cell phone)