DSRC Advocates Stress Importance of 5.9 GHz Band

Advocates for dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology today reiterated their call for the FCC to ensure that transportation safety applications are protected from interference in the 5.9 gigahertz band if the agency permits sharing with Wi-Fi devices.

“Our members are actively developing technologies, and own and operate critical highway and other transportation infrastructure that connects vehicles to vehicles, to other road users, and to their environment to help reduce crashes. Connected vehicle and infrastructure technology includes vehicle communication with bicyclists, pedestrians, traffic lights, and advanced alerts of hazards like ice on roadways, commonly known as vehicle-to-everything (V2X). Additionally, they can enhance automated driving systems, which hold the promise to provide numerous economic, environmental, and societal benefits, such as decreased congestion and fuel consumption, and increased access for the elderly and disabled,” the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of Global Automakers, the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, the 5G Automotive Association, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials said in a joint statement.

“The entire 5.9 GHz band is needed to achieve the full benefit of these communication technologies in the years to come. These safety innovations require dedicated spectrum to ensure they work right every time without signal interference. Millions of dollars have already been invested in this effort, including incorporating connected vehicle technologies into infrastructure,” the groups added.

“We are on the cusp of a major breakthrough in vehicle connectivity and safety innovations. With significant past and present investments in connected vehicle innovations, V2X technologies are already being deployed for the purposes of improving road safety. This will only continue moving forward,” the statement continued. “We support protecting the entire 5.9 GHz band for transportation safety applications. Any unlicensed use in the band should be done without harmful interference to the incumbent technology or other intelligent transportation systems technologies.”

Separately today, ITS America submitted an ex parte filing in ET docket 13-49 that said, “Now is the time for the Commission to act decisively to protect the investment in dedicated V2X short-range communications at 5.9 GHz as the technology is being deployed en-masse.”

“As Wi-Fi technology is well known, it is incumbent upon the Commission to strike the balance between investments that increase internet access and speed for streaming entertainment, education and other applications, and longer-term but highly-advance technologies designed to improve mobility and economic productivity in the transportation sector while reducing the unrelenting and unacceptable human toll in traffic deaths and injuries,” the filing added.

ITS America said it and its members “are committed to testing” and they believe the FCC “should rigorously evaluate all viable proposed approaches to determine if they are capable of ‘reliably protecting’ the utility of dedicated short-range V2X and ‘will not delay its deployment.’”

In commenting on a 6 GHz band NPRM yesterday, FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mike O’Rielly urged the agency to push to open the 5.9 GHz band for Wi-Fi applications (TR Daily, Oct. 23), echoing the call of industry Wi-Fi proponents.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that the results of the first phase of 5.9 GHz band testing – which was done in the FCC’s lab – would be released “at some point in the near future,” and he said the FCC would seek comment on those results. As for whether the FCC plans to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking on the 5.9 GHz band, he said, “We’re still studying the issue.” The FCC had planned to complete three phases of testing by January 2017, but it missed that self-imposed deadline.

Last week, NCTA asked the FCC “to take a fresh look” at use of the 5.9 GHz band, arguing that the FCC’s allocation of the spectrum for DSRC operations “has failed” (TR Daily, Oct. 16).

NCTA asked the FCC to “conclude its 5.9 GHz proceeding, which has been pending for more than five years. To move this proceeding toward resolution, the Commission should issue a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking or other appropriate vehicle that: (1) recognizes that the heavy-handed, technology-specific rules of the past have failed, (2) proposes to open all or a sufficient portion of the band to promote unlicensed innovation and investment, and (3) considers how to more flexibly address the need for low-power, point-to-point connectivity in the automotive sector using one or more alternative spectrum bands.”- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily