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Government Shutdown Threatens 5G Rollout, TIA Says

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Arlington, Va. -- The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the leading association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech communications networks, today issued the following statement on the 20th day of the government shutdown.

TIA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Cinnamon Rogers said:

“This government shutdown will soon be the longest in history. It comes at a vital moment when the U.S. is competing to stay ahead of the world in the race to 5G, and when new products and services are being rolled out in real time. Unfortunately, the FCC ran out of funding on January 3rd and closed down its vital device approval process as a result. The unavailability of this process will have a serious and negative impact on the approval of new connected devices that are designed to enable both 5G deployment and the full ecosystem of next generation technologies that 5G will support.

“We remain hopeful that the federal government will reopen shortly. If not, there is a simple way for the FCC to address this problem now and in the future. The agency should leave open its equipment authorization system during any shutdown, just as it has left open several other systems currently accessible through its website. To ensure the Commission retains its right to review device approvals after the shutdown ends, TIA supports having the FCC’s 30-day review period kick in once full agency operations resume.

“Other, more permanent solutions are also worth considering. First, the FCC needs to complete a long-running equipment authorization proceeding that will likely remove some categories of devices that present limited risk from needing direct FCC approval. Second, in the interest of streamlining the process generally, the FCC needs to allow for automatic certification by accredited third-party testing labs for more categories of devices than it does presently.

“The United States has the most innovative communications technology companies in the world. And while the FCC has made progress in recent years, the equipment authorization process needs further reform now – to prevent damage during government shutdowns – and into the future to allow those companies to bring new technologies to American consumers as soon as possible.”

Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)

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