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Itasca, IL - The National Safety Council is seriously concerned by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s announcement that the FCC will vote on a proposal to limit the amount of spectrum available for safety in the 5.9 GHz band. This band has been reserved for transportation safety advancements and technologies. This is a short-sighted decision with long-term adverse safety implications. Worse, this policy would put conveniences above safety, and that is always a losing game.
Forty thousand people died in 2018 on American roadways. Forty thousand died the year before. How many more people need to die in crashes to help FCC commissioners understand that support for this proposal will cost lives? Technology to advance safety has the potential to save thousands of lives each year, and having dedicated spectrum allows transportation industry players to test promising services without the threat of harmful interference from Wi-Fi users. Should interference happen – which is a risk if the spectrum is split – the consequences could be severe.
NSC calls on commissioners to reject this proposal. Sharing or rechannelizing the 5.9 GHz band could nullify progress already made, unnecessarily delay implementation, devalue prior 5.9 GHz technology investment and, most critically, could lead to the unnecessary loss of lives.
NSC and some of its partner organizations wrote the FCC about the risk of allowing other Wi-Fi users to use the 5.9 GHz band dedicated for transportation safety. You can read that letter here.
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The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.
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