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House E&C Wades into 5 GHz Issue

The bipartisan leadership of the House Energy & Commerce Committee is weighing into the issue of freeing up unlicensed wireless spectrum in the upper 5 GHz band while still protecting intelligent automotive systems, like crash avoidance.

The committee said Monday it will hold a series of meetings with the FCC, Department of Commerce and Department of Transportation to discuss how "to safely increase unlicensed access to the 5.9 GHz band without harming the existing work being done to improve auto safety through Intelligent Transportation Systems."

The FCC has been studying whether cable WiFi using unlicensed spectrum and widespread intelligent vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, which has a license to use the spectrum, can coexist in the 5.9 GHz band— the FCC thinks they can. Car companies want the FCC to err on the side of caution.

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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.