The head of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Ajit Pai announced a proposal to open the 5.9 GHz band for Wi-Fi and automotive communications technology, with a decision to be made by the regulator on 12 December.

Pai suggested the lower 45 MHz of the band be made available for unlicensed uses like Wi-Fi and the upper 20 MHz to be allocated for Cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X).

The FCC chairman also appealed for public input on whether to allocate the remaining 10 MHz of the spectrum for Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) or C-V2X.

Pai argued the expansion of C-V2X should be encouraged, as the technology would provide direct communications between vehicles and “everything”, including other vehicles on the road, infrastructure, cyclists and pedestrians.

“Our hope is that this move will unlock new vehicle safety services, using less spectrum and on a much faster timeline than we have seen or realistically could see with a DSRC-focused policy”, he said, reassuring the FCC is committed to transportation safety.

He also called for resisting “the notion that we have to choose between automotive safety and Wi-Fi”, as his proposal “would do far more for both automotive safety and Wi-Fi than the status quo”.