6/23 - OTI Coalition Opposition to Auto Industry Petition for Reconsideration of U-NII-3 Band Rules

On June 23, OTI, as part of a coalition, filed in opposition to the auto industry's petition for reconsideration of U-NII-3 Band Rules.

Summary

The Association of Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers’ (collectively “automakers”) petition for reconsideration1 sharply reduce out-of-band emissions (“OOBE”) from devices operating in U-NII-3—one of the most heavily used and most important bands for Wi-Fi. The Commission should reject this petition because it fails on both procedural and substantive grounds.

The petition fails on procedural grounds because all parties had ample notice that the Commission was considering revisions to its U-NII-3 OOBE limits and the Commission has already fully and properly considered the issues discussed in the automakers’ pleading. Indeed, far from being deprived a meaningful opportunity to comment, the Association of Global Automakers (“AGA”) commented extensively on the possibility of interference by U-NII-3 OOBE to DSRC. The FCC should therefore deny the petition on procedural grounds alone.

The petition also fails on substantive grounds. The automakers’ petition fails to show any significant error in the Commission’s reasoning. Rather, analysis of likely worst-case U-NII-3 emissions confirms the Commission’s conclusion that the OOBE rules adopted in the Commission’s recent U-NII order analysis appears to show otherwise only because it failed to take into account real-world engineering constraints that manufacturers face while seeking to comply with the U-NII-3 mask is their second petition seeking to provide robust protection for DSRC. The automakers’ analysis appears to show otherwise only because it failed to take into account real-world engineering constraints that manufacturers face while seeking to comply with the U-NII-3 mask. 

Finally, the automakers’ requested relief would result in substantial and unnecessary harm to Wi-Fi in the U-NII-3 band. Beyond the petition’s procedural flaws and its failure to establish the likelihood of any real-world interference, the Commission can best address the automakers’ claimed interference concerns by relocating vehicle-to-vehicle (“V2V”) crash-avoidance applications currently confined to channel 172 to a channel in the upper portion of the U-NII-4 band. This is the perfect moment to make this change because we are at the very beginning stages of DSRC crash-avoidance device deployment. Accordingly, such a change would have limited impact on DSRC interests. Furthermore, unlike the automakers’ request to reduce U-NII-3 OOBE levels, this solution would serve the FCC’s central goal of improving broadband access and increasing spectrum efficiency, since imposing stringent OOBE restrictions on the heavily used U-NII-3 band would be far more burdensome than modifying plans for future DSRC operations in channel 172. Hamstringing millions of consumer Wi-Fi devices today in order to over-protect future DSRC devices when the far more efficient and effective alternative of rechannelization is available would undermine the Commission’s efforts.

Download the full comments below:

OTI Coalition Opposition to Auto Industry Petition for Reconsideration of U-NII-3 Band Rules