Automakers Oppose FCC's Proposal to Free Up Wireless Spectrum for Wi-Fi
February 22, 2013 1:54 PM
The auto industry said it will pose a risk to vehicle-to-vehicle technologies that need this wireless spectrum
Automakers aren't too happy about a recent U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal, which
uses part of the wireless spectrum
assigned to vehicle-to-vehicle technology for Wi-Fi instead.
The FCC announced that it plans to
free up 195 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band
for unlicensed use in an effort to address the U.S.' spectrum crisis. This could potentially lead to Wi-Fi speeds faster than 1 gigabit per second.
The FCC voted unanimously on the topic Wednesday of this week.
However, the auto industry said this would take away previously reserved wireless spectrum for vehicle-to-vehicle technology -- which has the potential to save lives.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which is a trade group consisting of Detroit's Big Three Automakers, Toyota, Volkswagen AG and some other auto companies, is among those who are upset by the FCC's latest proposal.
"[Automakers] already invested heavily in the research and development of these safety critical systems, and our successes have been based on working closely with our federal partners," said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. "It is imperative that, as we move forward, we do adequate research and testing on potential interference issues that could arise from opening up this band to unlicensed users and that the commission not rush to judgment before this important analysis can be done."
The Intelligent Transportation Society of America added that "the desire of the commission to move forward expeditiously, while cautioning against putting near-term life-saving innovations like connected vehicle technology at risk in the pursuit of future Wi-Fi applications."
The auto industry isn't the only one concerned with the new proposal. Certain government agencies -- like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) -- see commercial users jumping on bands used by these agencies and posing a potential risk in doing so.
The Detroit News
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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