AT&T will postpone new wireless service near some airports planned for this week after the nation’s largest airlines said the service would interfere with aircraft technology and cause massive flight disruptions.
The company said Tuesday it would delay turning on new cell towers around runways at some airports — it did not say how many — and work with federal regulators to settle a dispute over potential interference from new 5G service.
The decision came after the airline industry raised the stakes in a showdown with AT&T and Verizon over plans to launch new 5G wireless service this week, warning that thousands of flights could be grounded or delayed if the rollout takes place near major airports.
Verizon and a trade group for the telecom industry, CTIA, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
On Monday, CEOs of the nation’s largest airlines said that interference from the wireless service will be worse than they originally thought.
“To be blunt, the nation’s commerce will grind to a halt” unless the service is blocked near major airports, the CEOs said in a letter Monday to federal officials including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who has previously taken the airlines’ side in the matter.
The airlines asked that the new, faster mobile service be banned within two miles of runways.
AT&T and Verizon planned to activate their new 5G wireless service Wednesday after two previous delays from the original plan for an early December rollout.
The new high-speed 5G service uses a segment of the radio spectrum that is close to that used by altimeters, which are devices that measure the height of aircraft above the ground. Pilots use altimeters to land when visibility is poor, and they link to other systems on planes.
AT&T and Verizon say their equipment will not interfere with aircraft electronics, and that the technology is being safely used in many other countries.
However, the CEOs of 10 passenger and cargo airlines including American, Delta, United and Southwest say that 5G will be more disruptive than they originally thought because dozens of large airports that were to have buffer zones to prevent 5G interference with aircraft will still be subject to flight restrictions announced last week by the Federal Aviation Administration. They add that those restrictions won’t be limited to times when visibility is poor.
“Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially be grounded. This means that on a day like yesterday, more than 1,100 flights and 100,000 passengers would be subjected to cancellations, diversions or delays,” the CEOs said.
The airline CEOs asked that the new 5G be barred within two miles of airport runways.
The showdown between two industries and their rival regulators — the FAA and the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees radio spectrum — now threatens to further disrupt the aviation industry, which has been hammered by the pandemic for nearly two years.
This was a crisis that was years in the making.
The airline industry and the FAA say that they have tried to raise alarms about potential interference from 5G C-Band but the FCC has ignored them.
The telecoms, the FCC and their supporters argue that C-Band and aircraft altimeters operate far enough apart on the radio spectrum to avoid interference. They also say that the aviation industry has known about C-Band technology for several years but did nothing to prepare — airlines chose not to upgrade altimeters that might be subject to interference, and the FAA failed to begin surveying equipment on planes until the last few weeks.
After rival T-Mobile got what is called mid-band spectrum from its acquisition of Sprint, AT&T and Verizon spent tens of billions of dollars for C-Band spectrum in a government auction run by the FCC to shore up their own mid-band needs, then spent billions more to build out new networks that they planned to launch in early December.
In response to concern by the airlines, however, they agreed to delay the service until early January.
Late on New Year’s Eve, Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson asked the companies for another delay, warning of “unacceptable disruption” to air service.
AT&T CEO John Stankey and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg rejected the request in a letter that had a scolding, even mocking tone. But they had second thoughts after intervention that reached the White House. They agreed to the second, shorter delay but implied that there would be no more compromises.
That was followed by a deal in which the telecoms agreed to reduce the power of their networks near 50 airports for six months, similar to wireless restrictions in France. In exchange, the FAA and the Transportation Department promised not to further oppose the rollout of 5G C-Band.
President Joe Biden praised the deal, but the airlines weren’t satisfied with the agreement, regarding it as a victory for the telecoms that didn’t adequately address their concerns about trying to land planes at airports where the new service would be active.
Original Post: fox16.com
Pulaski County Fair Comes to North Little Rock Riverfront Park
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – If you are looking for a fun time going into the weekend, the Pulaski County Fair is back in the Little Rock metro this week.
North Little Rock is hosting its 2nd annual fair at the Riverfront Park in North Little Rock. The fair hours Wednesday through Friday will be 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, it will open at noon and close at 11 p.m.
Fair-goers will be able to enjoy Hip Hop Night Thursday and participate in a pie contest the following Sunday. Other activities include rides, games and talent contests.
Adult admission is $5 and children 12 and under will have free admission.
For more information on ticket purchase and activities, visit ThePulaskiCountyFair.com.
Original Source: fox16.com
Court Recesses in Josh Duggar Child Pornography Sentencing
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On May 25, Judge Timothy L. Brooks called a recess in the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court shortly after 11:30 a.m.
Nearly the entire morning session of Joshua Duggar’s sentencing hearing was spent addressing a list of objections the defense made to a pre-sentencing report submitted to the court. The prosecution had one objection, which was addressed before today’s hearing.
The defense had 21 objections, and the morning proceed with the judge addressing many of them. Several objections about sentencing enhancements were overruled, others were sustained, and a handful of them were tabled until later in the day.
Some of the judge’s rulings on certain objections also rendered others moot, seeing some of the 22 items withdrawn. The judge also vacated one of Duggar’s convictions as a lesser charge, which he had previously noted he would do when Duggar was found guilty in December, 2021.
The judge sided with the defense on the matter of whether Duggar “did knowingly engage in distribution” of illegal child sexual assault materials. At issue was the peer-to-peer file sharing software Duggar used, which is how his activity was first discovered by an undercover Little Rock police officer.
Ultimately, the judge found the passive nature of the software, which cannot turn file sharing ability on or off, to be enough to sustain the defense’s objection.
Another matter that has been disputed by both sides in sentencing memorandums pertains to the total number of images Duggar downloaded. The defense has maintained that the number is “127 at most,” while the prosecution has stated that there were over 600.
Today, the judge clarified the importance of this difference, noting that the defense’s total would result in a two-level sentencing enhancement, while the prosecution’s higher number would increase that to a five level enhancement.
A good deal of time was spent trying to calculate an exact total, with the judge ultimately deciding that it was impossible, partially due to the presence of some files being located in unallocated space on Duggar’s computer. Judge Brooks added that each video counted as 75 images in this total.
“The Court gets to 525 images very easily,” he stated, before settling on an unconfirmed total of 590. He acknowledged that there may be more than 600, but for sentencing purposes he limited the enhancement to four levels.
Two defense objections pertained to what the court called Duggar’s “Ashley Madison scandal,” and the judge ruled that his confessions about infidelity before the trial and his own words about having a pornography addiction were “relevant in several respects.”
Judge Brooks will rule on the remaining objections and subsequently begin addressing the final sentencing guidelines this afternoon, beginning at 12:10 p.m.
Original Article: fox16.com
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