President Trump withdraws FCC renomination after 5G controversy

Michael O’Rielly served as FCC commissioner for six years.

By Russell Brandom  Aug 3, 2020, 6:01pm EDT

President Trump has withdrawn the nomination of FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, a six-year FCC veteran who was expected by many to be renewed for a third term, as first reported by Reuters. The withdrawal comes less than a week after Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) placed a hold on the nomination over concerns about O’Rielly’s position on a recently approved terrestrial 5G network.

The conflict centers over a controversial 5G network recently approved by the commission. The proposed network would operate on the L-band spectrum traditionally utilized by radar and GPS, operated by Ligado Networks as a low-power terrestrial system. In its proposal, Ligado pledged to report its base stations and operating parameters to avoid any interference with existing L-band users, but critics of the order have remained concerned that the network may interfere with GPS systems.

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