States ask FCC to preserve bandwidth for connected vehicles

State transportation directors have asked the Federal Communications Commission to continue reserving a portion of wireless bandwidth for transportation uses, such as for the connectivity of autonomous vehicles. The bandwidth was set aside for those purposes in 1999.

“We urge you to continue our nation’s commitment to improving transportation safety by reserving the 5.9 GHz wireless spectrum for this critical purpose,” stated the letter sent by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

The letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was signed by the transportation directors of all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

“Connected vehicles (CV) utilizing Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication in the 5.9 GHz spectrum will save lives by creating a seamless, cooperative environment that significantly improves the safety of our transportation system,” the letter explained. “This collaboration between the public and private sectors has already invested hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and deploy lifesaving CV technologies in the 5.9 GHz spectrum.”

Cable operators have been lobbying the FCC to open some of the bandwidth to other uses because it could be used in Wi-Fi services. Nicole Nason, administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, has asked the FCC to maintain the reservation of the bandwidth for transportation purposes.


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