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Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

Report No. ET 98- 7 ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY ACTION June 11, 1998

(ET DOCKET NO. 98-95 )

The FCC today proposed to allocate 75 megahertz of spectrum for transportation services to improve highway safety and efficiency as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's "Intelligent Transportation Systems" (ITS) national program.

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) adopted today, the FCC asked for comments on using the 5.850-5.925 GHz band for a variety of Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) uses, such as travelers' alerts, automatic toll collection, traffic congestion detection, emergency dispatch services, and electronic inspection of moving trucks through data transmissions with roadside inspection facilities.

DSRC systems are being designed to provide a short range, wireless link to transfer information between vehicles and roadside systems. These links will be essential to many ITS services that are expected to improve traveler safety, decrease traffic congestion, and facilitate the reduction of air pollution and conservation of fossil fuels. The FCC said providing additional spectrum for ITS services would further the goals of Congress, the Department of Transportation and the ITS industry to improve the efficiency of the U.S. transportation infrastructure and to facilitate the growth of the ITS industry.

The FCC said that the record indicates that the spectral environment and propagation characteristics of the 5.9 GHz band are appropriate for short range DSRC applications and would enable sufficient signal coverage and considerable frequency reuse.

The FCC tentatively concluded that DSRC operations, Government radar operations and FSS Earth-to-space operations should be able to share the spectrum on a co-primary basis subject to coordination. The FCC also noted that frequency and geographic separation should enable DSRC operations to share the spectrum with secondary amateur operations. The Notice requested comment on the spectrum sharing potential of DSRC operations in this band and further analysis of DSRC spectrum sharing with incumbent operations, including unlicensed Part 15 devices which may use a portion of the band.

The 75 megahertz allocation for DSRC would foster global research, technological innovations, and industry standards-setting activities that are expected to result in the production of affordable DSRC equipment. The plan would encourage wide-area or nationwide interoperability and the continued development of DSRC services and its emerging ITS industry.

The FCC proposed basic technical parameters and asked for comment on the need for nationwide operational standards and a channelization plan. The FCC deferred consideration of licensing and service rules to a later proceeding.

The Commission adopted the NPRM in response to a Petition for Rulemaking filed by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. The Commission said that the record in this proceeding supports the use of ITS services to increase the safety and efficiency of the Nation's transportation infrastructure, and justifies a proceeding to explore further the radio spectrum needs of, and to consider this proposed allocation for, a wide range of DSRC-based ITS services.

Action by the Commission June 11, 1998, by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 98-119).

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News Media Contact: David Fiske (202) 418-0513
Office of Engineering and Technology Contact: Tom Derenge (202) 418-2451