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Carmakers Oppose Opening Up 5GHZ Spectrum Space For Unlicensed Wi-Fi 186

s122604 writes "Automakers aren't too happy about a recent U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal, which uses part of the wireless spectrum assigned to vehicle-to-vehicle technology for Wi-Fi instead. The FCC announced that it plans to free up 195 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band for unlicensed use in an effort to address the U.S.' spectrum crisis. This could potentially lead to Wi-Fi speeds faster than 1 gigabit per second."
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Carmakers Oppose Opening Up 5GHZ Spectrum Space For Unlicensed Wi-Fi

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @09:50PM (#42986923)

    As a resident near Kansas City, it's fairly important to me.

  • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @09:54PM (#42986939) Homepage Journal

    You don't own that spectrum. Corporations own that spectrum. Right now, lobbyists from the electronics industry are paying / bribing / offering more to the regulators than the car manufacturers are prepared to meet. Just like the commercial broadcast spectrum segments -- AM and FM radio, television -- of which you get to use precisely zero, this isn't about you -- it's about the manufacturers of devices that will use that spectrum.

    The FCC's spectrum allocation arm allocates so little of the available spectrum to the public, and in particular, easily usable spectrum, that it is fairly painful to contemplate. The only people with a public voice are those with extremely deep pockets, and that's no accident.

  • by BStocknd ( 762377 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @09:59PM (#42986959)
    Just because your internet is limited to 16mbit doesn't mean there's no advantage to faster wireless. The best example would be transferring files or watching HD videos over wireless from a local share. Not to mention there could be plenty of applications outside of personal use in your home. Think of large WDS meshes for example.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @11:32PM (#42987331)

    Uh, no. It's the public's spectrum. The FCC runs it for us, and leases it out to corporations, WHO PAY US for the right to use it.

    A landlord might lease out a room, and under the terms of that lease may not be allowed to enter the room unannounced any more, but that doesn't mean the landlord is no longer the owner.

  • by smpoole7 ( 1467717 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @12:43AM (#42987583) Homepage

    > so long as it plays nicely with others

    Ah, that's the rub, though. You'd still need some regulation and certified, per-manufactured units that were sealed against tampering. If you're suggesting that we just throw a giant chunk of spectrum out for people to do with as they please, it will be unusable within a year or two from all the interference. Even worse, it will be interfering with other services, including some of MY licensed ones. :)

    Naturally, I object to that.

    You want some math? Bozo The Redneck has a 5GHz unit that he has "improved." To get away from all of his neighbors' emissions, he found a little screw inside that would lower his frequency to 4.5GHz. Hey, there wasn't anyone else there! He then discovered that it would "put out more better" if he removed that silver can on the output (i.e., the filter). Harmonics are simply multiples of the fundamental frequency, so now he's radiating junk at 9GHz, 13.5GHz, and 18GHz. This doesn't even include the *spurious* products that he's generating at heaven-only-knows what frequencies, because he also goosed the power, so now the amplifier is clipping like mad. :)

    That's when I perk up and take notice, because I have a licensed Dragonwave link at 18GHz that we absolutely depend on. It ferries (via audio-over-IP, as well as one T1-over-IP that was a BEAST to set up, but that's a separate story!) several signals for our radio stations, as well as telemetry and video monitoring (to watch for the @#$@#$ copper thieves). We kind of depend on that thing, y'know?

    And if you think that's an unlikely scenario, think back to the CB craze of the late 70's. Most truck stops sold linear amplifiers. Highly illegal, but that didn't stop people from buying them. Better yet, the bozos had no idea how to tune them, so they radiated trash and harmonics that absolutely destroyed TV reception in rural areas, where people had to depend on over-the-air antennas -- i.e., the very areas that were most likely to have rednecks running "LEE-nyers." It was a very real problem, and the FCC (the CB's called him "uncle Charlie") was constantly running around, busting people for running these pieces of junk.

    Just turning frequencies over to the public sounds like a good idea, but most people don't know what they're doing. As someone who loves Open Source and Open Standards and all that, it grieves me to say it, but in this particular case, you'd better have some oversight and control.

    If you don't, the end result is going to be that everyone interferes with everyone else and NO ONE will be able to communicate. Read up on the history of the FCC sometime: it was actually created (at least in part) at the request of *broadcasters,* who were sick and tired of constant interference, scrambling for "open" frequencies and no real limits on operation.

  • by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Saturday February 23, 2013 @08:08AM (#42988519)

    "The holy grail of self driving cars is a situation where cars are driving 70MPH with about 2 feet between them."

    I will read the newspaper stories in the future about the incredibly massive pileups of enormous numbers of self-driving cars on your highways.

    Self-driving cars need to also be using vision, radar, sonar - all their senses. Relying on just one sense is folly. The reality of the world is that not everyone will play nice and they'll have to be able to adapt to that, or die.

    Any self-driving cars can't adapt to radio interference then they will die off, litter along the road of technological progress. The driving force will be the litigation against the self-driving cars that crash.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban