Truck safety advocates blast FCC spectrum carve-out plan

A proposal by U.S. federal regulators to reassign a section of airwaves currently dedicated to advanced communications among cars and trucks will make the roads more dangerous, truck safety advocates warn.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants 45 of the 75 MHz within the 5.9 GHz band that has been set aside since 1999 for automotive communications to be used instead for Wi-Fi cellular service, according to a plan announced Nov. 20 by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

“After 20 years of seeing these prime airwaves go largely unused, the time has come for the FCC to take a fresh look at the 5.9 GHz band,” Pai said in a speech in Washington. “The policy we have had in place since 1999 has not maximized the value of the 5.9 GHz band for the American people. After four presidential administrations, eight FCC chairs and 20 years, it’s long past time to turn the page. Let’s move on from our failed strategy.”

The FCC’s proposed rule, which will be open to public comment, drew immediate criticism from the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA), whose members train over 50,000 drivers per year.