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ITS America files comment Opposing FCC 5.9GHz Proposal

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) has called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to save lives on U.S. roadways by withdrawing its proposal to give away a majority of the spectrum used for transportation safety critical communications.

The 5.9GHz spectrum, currently allocated for Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communications, allows vehicles to communicate with each other, all road users, and infrastructure.

The FCC proposal would allow unlicensed (non-transportation) use in 45 MHz, leaving 30MHz for V2X technologies, which would not only limit spectrum available for safety applications but could render those remaining channels unusable due to significant interference.

“The FCC is proposing this change without any analysis or evidence that shows these life-saving technologies will continue to operate successfully in only 30 MHz of spectrum,” said ITS America President & CEO Shailen Bhatt. “Its proposal is based on an incomplete and flawed understanding of the role the 5.9GHz band plays in creating a safer transportation network.”

In comments filed yesterday responding to the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 19-129), ITS America noted that the U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) estimated accident reduction could be deferred by five years and that costs of otherwise preventable deaths and injuries will be billions of dollars annually if the proposal is implemented. In its filing, the associations noted the proposal violates the FCC’s enabling statute ‘to promote the safety of life and property’ and that the Commission has disregarded the concerns of DOT, which is the expert agency on this matter. ITS America urged the Commission to continue to support testing of band sharing between V2X and unlicensed devices. The association also noted it supports allowing C-V2X technologies in the band.

The proposed reduction in spectrum is also likely to curtail future safety innovations, impede development and deployment of Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs), and cause much of the billions of dollars in public and private sector investment in V2X technologies to be lost.

“Buildout of the Interstate took almost 50 years and transformed the country,” Bhatt said. “Rebuilding America’s highways with lifesaving V2X technologies is a project of similar magnitude that can be a legacy of this generation of national leadership.”

Read ITS America’s Full Comments