The FCC voted in December 2019 to split the spectrum because it has been vastly underutilized, with no commercial automaker selling vehicles deploying technology designated for that bandwidth.
Analysts say the fighting reflects a larger conflict: how to divide the specter as it becomes more and more in demand.
“This is the last big thing and because of it we have to find all the spectrum possible to feed it,” said Jim Dunstan, general counsel for TechFreedom, who opposes public policies which he says are too restrictive of Internet use. services. “The easy choices are gone and we’re now down to the bone, so to speak. “
Dunstan, who devised the “little shop of horrors” analogy, said there was little incentive for government agencies that had controlled part of the spectrum for decades to use those frequencies more efficiently. But now, with the spectrum-hungry telecommunications companies, “the individual agencies are saying,” Hey, now you’re invading our territory. “
While the details of the two DOT spectrum fights vary, the agency’s fundamental defense has been to argue that it needs the bandwidth for security purposes. In the case of airlines, the ministry argues, the industry needs the spectrum to navigate in low visibility conditions.