• Airplane Landings at Risk of Delays on FAA Move To Ease 5G Risk
    by msmash on December 7, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    Airliners, private planes and helicopters may have to limit landings in low-visibility conditions and follow other restrictions under a government directive to ensure safe operations once a new band of 5G mobile-phone service starts in January. From a report: The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday issued two orders laying out potential flight restrictions that could cause severe restrictions at major airports during bad weather. "The FAA is working closely with the Federal Communications Commission and wireless companies, and has made progress toward safely implementing the 5G expansion," the FAA said in a statement. "We are confident with ongoing collaboration we will reach this shared goal." The agency said in a press release that it believes "the expansion of 5G and aviation will safely co-exist" and stopped short of specific restrictions. But the two airworthiness directives lay the groundwork for what could be severe limitations across the nation's aviation system if the regulator believes the signals -- from a part of the spectrum called the "C-Band" that the mobile carriers have procured to expand their service -- threaten safety. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Senate Confirms FCC Chair Rosenworcel To Another Term, Narrowly Avoiding a Republican Majority
    by msmash on December 7, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    The Senate voted 68-31 to confirm Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, the first woman to hold that title, to another five-year term, narrowly avoiding a Republican majority at the agency once her current term was set to expire at the end of the year. From a report: Rosenworcel gained the support of key Republicans, including Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Roger Wicker, R-Miss. President Joe Biden waited a historically long period to nominate Rosenworcel as well as former FCC official Gigi Sohn to a commissioner role. That prolonged period threatened to temporarily give the two Republicans on the commission a majority, since Rosenworcel would have had to leave the commission at the New Year if she was not confirmed to another term by then. While the role of acting chair, which sets the agenda for the agency, would go to the remaining Democrat on the commission until a permanent chair could be confirmed, the agency would likely not have been able to push forward anything but the most bipartisan of measures. Even with Rosenworcel's confirmation, the commission is set to remain stalemated on more controversial issues until a fifth commissioner is confirmed. Biden has signaled a desire to return to the net neutrality rules adopted by the FCC during the Obama administration, which were later repealed by the agency under former President Donald Trump. Republicans on the commission have continued to signal opposition to reclassifying broadband providers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which the industry has argued would unfairly open the possibility of price regulation of their services. Companies subject to the reclassification included internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, parent company of CNBC owner NBCUniversal. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • An Amazon Server Outage is Causing Problems for Alexa, Ring, Disney Plus, and Others
    by msmash on December 7, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Problems with some of the Amazon Web Services cloud servers are causing slow loading or failures for significant chunks of the internet. From a report: The company's widespread network of data centers powers many of the things you interact with online, so as we've seen in previous AWS outage incidents, any problem can have massive ripple effects. People started noticing problems at around 10:45AM ET. There are reports of outages for Disney Plus streaming, as well as games like PUBG, League of Legends, and Valorant. We've also noticed some problems accessing Amazon.com, as well as other Amazon products like the Alexa AI assistant, Kindle ebooks, Amazon Music, or Ring security cameras. The DownDetector list of services with spikes in their outage reports runs off nearly any recognizable name: Tinder, Roku, Coinbase, both Cash App and Venmo, and the list goes on. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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