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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

AT&T and Verizon Don't Want You To Know Where 5G Really Is


Big Telecom is resisting efforts by the government to require it to include 5G availability in broadband maps.

Wireless carriers are fighting back against efforts to better map 5G wireless availability, worried that better data could deflate their 5G marketing hype.

To hear wireless carriers tell it, 5G is just short of magic. As the faster network standard is quickly and broadly deployed, carriers say 5G will result in a "fourth industrial revolution" that will change absolutely everything, resulting in smart cities and even smarter cancer cures.

In reality, carriers have faced widespread criticism for overhyping not only what 5G can do, but where it's actually available. Verizon's early 5G launches have been criticized for being fast but barely available. AT&T has been ridiculed for overstating 5G availability by using bogus 5G phone icons. And while 5G coverage will improve over time, it will take many years to do so.

Because it's been so overhyped, having an accurate map of actual 5G availability is going to be important.

But for years, both industry and government broadband availability maps have been criticized for massively overstating real world broadband availability. Carriers have historically lobbied against better broadband mapping, worried that better public data would only highlight America's significant broadband and competition shortcomings.

While political pressure is forcing the government to at least take a deeper look at the mapping problem, wireless carriers clearly don't want 5G included in those efforts. In a filing with the government first spotted by Light Reading, AT&T tells the FCC disclosing 5G availability data could reveal "sensitive information."

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