ITS America reacts to FCC vote reallocating transportation safety spectrum

Opponents say reallocation of the spectrum renders the entire band useless for safety

November 18, 2020 / 2 minute read
connected vehicle-to-everything (V2X)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today adopted new rules for the 5.9 GHz band to make new spectrum available for unlicensed uses, such as Wi-Fi.

Specifically, the FCC says the new band plan designates the lower 45 megahertz for unlicensed uses and the upper 30 megahertz for enhanced automobile safety using Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology.

ITS America President & CEO Shailen Bhatt released a statement in response to this anticipated move from the FCC on reallocating the 5.9 GHz safety spectrum

"Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) abandoned public safety by voting to give away a majority of the 5.9 GHz safety spectrum that currently allows life-saving Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technologies to work without interference," Bhatt said in a statement. "ITS America is but one of dozens of transportation safety organizations that have been sounding the alarm about the implications of this action—from the U.S. Department of Transportation, to all state departments of transportation, and so many other organizations dedicated to keeping people safe on U.S. roads. In a time in which we are rightly focused on following science and data, it is inexplicable that the FCC is willfully disregarding the advice of experts."

Since earlier this year, top officials with the U.S. DOT, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) have joined in the calls from ITS America stressing the importance of preserving the entire 5.9 GHz safety spectrum band for V2X technologies.

"Today’s move will, in effect, likely render the entire band useless for safety," Bhatt continued. "We are evaluating all possible options to preserve public safety and significantly reduce the tragic deaths of nearly 37,000 people who die on our roadways every year."

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SOURCE: ITS America / Federal Communications Commission

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