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MEMA Concerned with Latest FCC Proposal to Alter 5.9 GHz Spectrum

Date: November 17, 2020

In late October, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced new draft rules to split the 5.9 GHz band. MEMA immediately expressed disappointment in the proposal and formally responded with comments to the docket proceeding on Nov. 10.

The FCC’s proposal would give the lower 45 MHz to unlicensed uses like WiFi and would transition the upper 30 MHz away from Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) service over to Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X). MEMA argued that FCC analysis in its draft report and order is not reasoned decision-making. Furthermore, MEMA noted that additional capacity for Wi-Fi is not necessary, particularly in light of the recent FCC action in the 6 GHz proceeding to open an additional 1,200 MHz of spectrum, which more than tripled the spectrum available for Wi-Fi. Additionally, MEMA noted that the draft order fundamentally alters licenses for ITS applications.

MEMA urged the Commission to heed the overwhelming majority of commenters represented in this docket proceeding that supports keeping the full 75 MHz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band available to intelligent transportation systems communications.

“In sum, the Draft Order is a fatally flawed policy proposal that offers no real benefits to consumers on closer examination, and it will prevent significant deployment of ITS technology,” MEMA stated. “The Draft Order is overwhelmingly opposed by multiple federal agencies, every state department of transportation, broad cross sections of industry and consumer protection groups, and raises serious international harmonization and trade concerns.”

For more information, please contact Leigh Merino.

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