Connected-car entrepreneurs face increasing risk that Big Cable will take over valuable spectrum supposed to be reserved for life-saving vehicle communication. Already, Comcast has opposed net neutrality rules, which prevent ISPs from restricting the free flow of the internet. And now it appears the cable giant is making a play to control connected-car communication as well, according to an article by The Verge.
Comcast has argued to the FCC that paid prioritization should be allowed for autonomous cars because they need near-instant data transmissions. The problem: much of autonomous vehicles’ conversations happen on spectrum outside the internet, known as the Dedicated Short Range Communications band, not controlled by Comcast. At least, yet.”The FCC has set aside spectrum in the 5.9GHz band specifically … to be used for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) applications,” The Verge reports.
Why does that matter? As the technology governing our lives increasingly demands data, ISPs know the need for transmission will only grow. Comcast and others may want to snatch the 5.9GHz band, a potentially lucrative commodity, for themselves, according to Sam Abuelsamid, a senior analyst at Navigant Research. “And if that happens, it will be a real problem for automated vehicles,” he says.
New WiFi spots are nice, but is it worth jeopardizing the future of connected cars to ensure Comcast’s bottom line? We don’t think so. Ensuring that connected-car technology is accurate, reliable, and safe should be everyone’s first priority.
At JCC Bowers, we’re doing our part by protecting drivers with military-grade security, accident assistance, and anti-theft tools. ISPs must do their part as well.