FCC chairman to propose dividing spectrum between auto safety, Wi-Fi use

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(Reuters) – Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai will propose on Wednesday splitting a key band of spectrum that had been set aside for auto safety between Wi-Fi use and automakers, sources said.

A block of 75 megahertz of spectrum was reserved in 1999 in the 5.9 GHz band for automakers to develop technology to allow vehicles to talk to each other but it has gone largely unused, Pai has said. Pai plans to propose shifting 45 MHz of the band for Wi-Fi use and use the remaining spectrum for auto safety communications, the sources said.

The U.S. Transportation Department argued the spectrum block is critical to future auto safety advances and should not be split.

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