Thursday, November 19, 2020

FCC Votes to Open Auto Safety Spectrum to WiFi, Despite DOT Concerns

 By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief In the second-to-last FCC meeting of the year, all five FCC Commissioners agreed to the plan to reallocate the 5.9 GHz auto safety band to enable WiFi use. That’s despite opposition from the Department of Transportation, which calls the planned changes dangerous. The new band plan designates the lower 45 megahertz (5.850-5.895 GHz) for unlicensed uses and the upper 30 megahertz (5.895-5.925 GHz) for enhanced automobile safety using Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology.
It’s because of that opposition that Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) wrote to Pai Tuesday and asked him to delay the vote. FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks called the continuing disagreement between federal agencies on spectrum issues “disappointing,” though he voted for the changes.

Chairman Ajit Pai kept the agenda smaller than usual and restricted votes to bipartisan issues. House Democratic leaders recently asked Pai and the heads of 49 other federal agencies to restrict their decisions to consensus items for the remainder of the current administration’s term, Inside Towers reported. Continue Reading

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