Defense Secretary Mark Esper has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deny a Virginia wireless company's license to provide 5G mobile broadband service out of "national security, civil service, and the economic benefit of the nation" concerns.
"There are too many unknowns and the risks are far too great to federal operations to allow Ligado's proposed system to proceed," Esper said in a letter Monday to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Bloomberg News reports.
"This could have a significant negative impact on military operations, both in peacetime and war.
"I, therefore, strongly oppose," Esper said, adding that the proposed service had "the potential for widespread disruption and degradation of GPS services" that rely on signals from space.
Esper's letter was released Wednesday by the Pentagon, Bloomberg reports, and the FCC is not bound by the recommendation.
Ligado Networks LLC, based in Reston, Virginia, has pitched the use of some of the federally regulated radio spectrum as critical to deploying 5G across the country.
5G networks are expected to be at least 100 times faster than the current 4G spectrum, reduce delays, and allow for innovations in a number of fields.
The government, however, will not nationalize the 5G network — and the five FCC commissioners oppose 5G nationalization.
Valerie Green, Ligado's executive vice president and chief legal officer, retorted that Esper's concerns had been addressed.
"The issue raised by the DOD letter is not new to the commission, and the record contains ample evidence for the commission to conclude that the assertions in the letter lack merit," Green said in a Thursday letter, The Daily Caller reports.
"No entity has the authority to squat on someone else's spectrum and seek to use spectrum not allocated to it," she said.
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