ATSSA Blog

FCC extends deadline for replies to comments on 5.9 GHz band proposal

The Federal Communications Commission’s Office of Engineering and Technology granted a 21-day extension of the deadline for submitting replies to comments regarding a proposed rule change regarding the 5.9 GHz band.

The new deadline is April 27.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced the proposal to reallocate a portion of the 5.9 GHz band - also commonly referred to as the "safety spectrum" - to other uses, including WiFi at a Nov. 20 meeting.

Organizations had until March 9 to file responses to the proposal. They then originally had until April 6 to file responses to the comments.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) on March 20 both requested a 90-day extension of the reply comment filing date.

AASHTO and ITSA sought the extension because of the “extensive record generated by the comments in the midst of the disruptions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the statement issued by the Office of Engineering and Technology with its decision.

The office noted that extensions aren’t “routinely granted” but did so under the circumstances and “to develop the record to the fullest extent possible in this proceeding.”

The FCC’s five-member commission voted unanimously on Dec. 12 to “take a fresh and comprehensive look at the 5.9 GHz (5.850-5.925 GHz) band, proposing rule changes to ensure that this spectrum supports its highest and best use for the American people,” according to an FCC press release. The proposal is to reallocate a portion of the band to uses such as WiFi.

ATSSA filed its response in opposition to the FCC proposal on March 2, saying it was “steadfastly opposed” to the changes.

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