Telecom Tech Cos.: Shutdown Threatens 5G Rollout

Telecom equipment manufacturers and suppliers are telling the President and Congress that the government shutdown could have a "serious and negative impact" on the devices fueling the race to 5G.

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) said Friday (Jan. 11) that the FCC's shutdown of its device approval process as of Jan. 3 will delay the approval of connected devices that enable and support 5G deployment.

TIA said it hoped the shutdown would be over soon, but that in any event the FCC should reopen the authorization process during the shutdown, just as it has some other systems, including those it considers vital to life and safety, and auction-related filings and approvals, which are not funded through appropriations.

While it was on the subject, TIA also put in a pitch for removing some of the categories of devices that require such, now-delayed--approvals as well as allowing for automatic certifications by third-party labs for more categories of devices.

Both would decrease the number of devices affected by future shutdowns, the threat of which Democrats have argued will increase if they now agree to fund the President's border wall proposal in order to re-open the government.

The shutdown is wrapping up its third week with no end in sight, unless the President declares a national emergency and funds the wall through other means, which could lead to a government start-up.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.