The intersection of Telecommunications and Transportation.
House Members Question FCC Plans that Undermine the Development and Deployment of Safety Critical Technology
House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO), and 36 Members of the committee sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission to raise serious concerns with the FCC’s plan to redirect more than half the 5.9 GHz spectrum band. In December 2019, the FCC proposed to reallocate more than half of the 5.9 GHz radio frequency band (or Safety Band) to unlicensed operations, such as Wi-Fi.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai released the following statement regarding an upcoming Cellular Vehicle to Everything (CV2X) deployment in Northern Virginia, which was announced Jan 22 by Audi, Qualcomm, and the Virginia Department of Transportation. The deployment will include warnings that automatically alert cars to upcoming work zones as well as SPaT (signal phase and timing), which enables cars to receive a countdown from a red light to a green light:
The Federal Communications Commission voted to take a fresh and comprehensive look at the 5.9 GHz (5.850-5.925 GHz) band, proposing rule changes to ensure that this spectrum supports its highest and best use for the American people. For the past two decades, the entire 75 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band has been reserved for use by Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), a radio service designed to enable vehicle-related communications. However, after 20 years, DSRC still has not been widely deployed, and this spectrum therefore generally remains unused.
After 20 years of seeing these prime airwaves [in the 5.9 GHz band] go largely unused, the time has come for the FCC to take a fresh look at the 5.9 GHz band. And I’m pleased to announce that today, I shared with my FCC colleagues a proposal to end the uncertainty around the 5.9 GHz band and set a path for the deployment of new services. Specifically, I’m proposing to make available the lower 45 MHz of the band for unlicensed uses like Wi-Fi and allocate the upper 20 MHz for a new automotive communications technology, Cellular Vehicle to Everything, or C-V2X.
Smart Cities are the future. So when Houston, Texas faced rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, it seized the opportunity to transform itself as a tech-centric, smart city by incorporating emerging technologies including Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Machine Learning and data analytics. Houston is being extremely planful in building multiple innovative solutions across departments at the same time that communicate with one another which is significantly increasing the positive impact it’s bringing to its citizens.
Several elements involved in the deployment of Smart Cities rely on Federal Communications Commission activity or involvement. Let’s explore some of the policy issues and discussions that may be necessary to make Smart Cities happen in the near term.
It’s time for the Federal Communications Commission to take a fresh look at the 5.9 GHz band. After two decades and millions of dollars in wasted government subsidies, the Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) experiment in the 5.9 GHz band has clearly failed. The growth of Wi-Fi over the last two decades and the potential of this spectrum to deliver better Wi-Fi only amplify this failure in policy.
Delta Air Lines’ CEO Ed Bastian said that the airline was working hard toward offering free in-flight Wi-Fi to all of its passengers. Though Bastian neglected to attach an exact timeline to his claim, he noted that the plan comes in response to Delta passengers’ vocal desire for fast, free connectivity. “I don’t know of anywhere else, besides in an airplane, that you can’t get free Wi-Fi,” Bastian opined.
The Obama Administration’s proposal to mandate a vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication system in all new cars is reportedly on life support at the more deregulatory Trump Department of Transportation (DOT). A V2V signaling mandate has been criticized as outdated, costly, and lengthy; it could take 20 years or more to become fully effective.
Join Axios's Mike Allen for a discussion on the way a faster, smarter, more connected internet is changing mobility and the way we travel including 1:1 interviews with:
- Sen Gary Peters (D-MI)
- House Commerce Committee Chairman Grag Walden (R-OR
- Chris Urmson, CEO of Aurora