Mar 2, 2020 - Technology

Commerce Department official at center of 5G battles resigns

A photo of a 5G wireless tower.

Photo: Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images.

Commerce Department official Earl Comstock, who rankled others in the Trump administration on telecom policy issues including 5G, is resigning effective Friday, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Comstock was a controversial figure at the center of battles over how to free up airwaves for 5G as well as the administration's overall direction on the next-generation wireless networks. The friction has repeatedly spilled out in public and led to the resignation of Commerce's top telecom official last year.

What they're saying: In a statement, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross thanked Comstock for the three years he served as the director of policy and strategic planning.

  • "I value his wise counsel, his deep policy expertise, his innovative thinking and leadership, and I thank him for his service to the American people," Ross said in the statement. "I know he will excel in whatever new role he takes on and wish him the very best."
  • The Commerce Department declined further comment.
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