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US Court of Appeals sets oral argument date for FCC case

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The U.S. Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on Jan. 25 in the case of multiple transportation organizations to block a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order to redistribute a portion of the safety spectrum.

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN) appealed the FCC’s Nov. 18, 2020 order to reallocate a portion of the 5.9 GHz spectrum band to unlicensed uses including WiFi.

The FCC voted unanimously to reallocate more than half of the safety band. The new rules adopted by the FCC make the lower 45 megahertz (MHz) of the spectrum available for unlicensed uses and require Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) licensees to stop using that portion of the spectrum within a year.

ATSSA leads effort in filing legal brief supporting reversal of FCC safety spectrum decision

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ATSSA filed a friend of the court brief in support of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN), which are appealing an order by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reallocate a portion of the 5.9 GHz spectrum band to unlicensed uses including WiFi.

The FCC voted unanimously on Nov. 18, 2020 to reallocate more than half of the safety band. The new rules adopted by the FCC make the lower 45 megahertz (MHz) of the spectrum available for unlicensed uses and require Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) licensees to stop using that portion of the spectrum within a year.

The FCC’s action came despite warnings from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), U.S. Department of the Treasury and multiple transportation-safety-focused organizations including ATSSA.

Senate EPW Committee passes safety-focused highway bill

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The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee today unanimously passed the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021 (STRA), its proposal to reauthorize the expiring highway program.

The proposed legislation, which was crafted in a bipartisan manner, funds surface transportation programs at $304 billion over five years, which is a 34% increase over current funding levels. This funding includes historic funding levels for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), $16.8 billion over the five-year period, which is a nearly $2 billion increase over current funding levels.

ATSSA worked hard to ensure that funding levels for HSIP were as high as possible and then continued to work to insert additional safety provisions and funding in other programs throughout the legislation. Now our team will work to ensure these advocacy successes remain in the package as it winds its way through Congress this summer.

FCC votes unanimously to redistribute a portion of the safety spectrum

ATSSA and other roadway safety advocates opposed changes to 5.9 GHz band

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously today to reallocate more than half of the 5.9GHz spectrum band—known as the “safety spectrum”—to unlicensed uses including WiFi.

The new rules adopted today make the lower 45 megahertz of the spectrum available for unlicensed uses. They require Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) licensees to stop using this portion of the spectrum within a year.

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner called the action "a major blow to the roadway safety community and public safety in general."

FCC sets Nov. 18 vote on safety spectrum reallocation

ATSSA and others say sharing the 5.9 GHz band risks lives

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is scheduled for a final vote Nov. 18 on reallocating a portion of the 5.9 GHz spectrum band, commonly known as the safety spectrum, for Wi-Fi.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed sharing the spectrum a year ago and this week reiterated his support for the idea saying that “making more spectrum available for Wi-Fi is critical to meeting America’s growing connectivity need,” Reuters reported.

As reported here, from the outset, ATSSA and others including the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) and the Department of Defense opposed the idea for safety and security reasons.

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