To DSRC or not to DSRC? FCC tests show spectrum sharing with Wi-Fi is possible at 5.9 GHz, but the conversation has shifted

The Federal Communications Commission’s Office of Engineering and Technology has released testing results which show that prototype devices can successfully share 5.9 GHz spectrum that is currently allocated to Dedicate Short Range Communications for vehicle-to-everything use — but the FCC now appears more interested in the potential reallocation of the band rather than the DSRC/Wi-Fi spectrum-sharing framework that the testing was designed to explore. Two commissioners have called for a new rulemaking to reexamine how the 5.9 GHz band is allocated.

The coexistence testing was first called for in 2016, and results were made public yesterday after having been submitted to the Commission earlier this year.

“The reality is that the entire debate has gravitated away from the type of sharing regime envisioned in the testing,” Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said in a statement. “Instead, the Commission should move past this and initiate a rulemaking to reallocate at least 45 megahertz of the band, which is completely unused today for automobile safety.”