May 24, 2021
Reallocating the 5.9 GHz Band: Roadblock for Transportation Innovation or Roadmap to 5G Innovation?
Earlier this month the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published its final rule regarding transitioning portions of the 5.9 GHz spectrum band — originally allocated to the Department of Transportation for autonomous vehicles — to unlicensed spectrum that is available more broadly. In a new analysis, AAF’s Director of Technology and Innovation Policy Jennifer Huddleston explains why splitting the band is critical for next-generation communication and examines the potential impact of this shift on transportation innovation and safety.
As technologies and demands evolve, it will be necessary at times for the FCC to consider if underutilized spectrum can be repurposed. In the case of the 5.9 GHz band, the transition provides important opportunities for continuing to develop a strong internet infrastructure to support a variety of technologies. Some have questioned whether this transition will undermine transportation safety or next-generation vehicle technology, but the transition will help provide a strong backbone for the connectivity that fuels many innovations, including in the transportation sector.