FCC Seeks Comment on 5.9 GHz NPRM

On Tuesday, December 17, 2019, the Commission released the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) in the Use of the 5.850-5.925 GHz Band (5.9 GHz) proceeding, which was adopted in the December Open Meeting (ET Docket No. 19-138). The NPRM proposes to repurpose and refresh the 5.9 GHz band rules to support efficient use of the spectrum, specifically by continuing to dedicate the upper 30 MHz of the band for transportation and vehicle safety purposes and repurposing the remaining lower 45 MHz of the band for unlicensed operations to support high-throughput broadband applications.

The adopted item incorporates non-substantive language clarifications and seeks additional comment on certain aspects of the Commission’s proposals. Specifically, the adopted NPRM seeks comment on two notable additions:

  • 30 MHz for ITS in the 5.895-5.925 GHz – The adopted NPRM seeks comment on the current state of DSRC-based deployment as the Commission moves forward with its 5.9 GHz proposals, and the extent to which existing licensees currently operate on some or all of the existing channels in the 5.9 GHz band, as well as the transportation and vehicular-safety related applications that are particularly suited for the 5.9 GHz band compared to other bands. The adopted item also proposes that ITS in this band continue to provide safety of life services, and the Commission seeks comment on any actions it should take or requirements to promote rapid and effective ITS deployment.
  • Technical Rules – The adopted NPRM seeks additional comment on modified technical rules and OOBE limits for U-NII-3 and U-NII-4 devices operating in the bands.

On Thursday, February 6, 2020, the Commission published the NPRM in the Federal Register therefore establishing the following comment dates:

Comments are due March 9, 2020.

Reply Comments are due April 6, 2020.

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