US Court of Appeals sets oral argument date for FCC case

The U.S. Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on Jan. 25 in the case of multiple transportation organizations to block a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order to redistribute a portion of the safety spectrum.

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN) appealed the FCC’s Nov. 18, 2020 order to reallocate a portion of the 5.9 GHz spectrum band to unlicensed uses including WiFi.

The FCC voted unanimously to reallocate more than half of the safety band. The new rules adopted by the FCC make the lower 45 megahertz (MHz) of the spectrum available for unlicensed uses and require Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) licensees to stop using that portion of the spectrum within a year.

The FCC’s action came despite warnings from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), U.S. Department of the Treasury and multiple transportation safety-focused organizations including ATSSA.  

ATSSA filed a friend of the court brief on Aug. 20 in support of the action by ITS America,  AASHTO and AREDN. ATSSA was joined in its brief by the American Highway Users Alliance, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the National Safety Council,  Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the National Safety Council. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Saturday announced that oral argument is set for Jan. 25 at 9:30 a.m.

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