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$9.91 -0.0  -0.4%

Last Trade - 14/05/21

Sector
Financials
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Mid Cap
Market Cap £483.3m
Enterprise Value £482.3m
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Position in Universe 3217th / 6846

UPDATE 1-U.S. regulator votes to shift some auto safety spectrum to Wi-Fi use

Wed 18th November, 2020 5:19pm
(New throughout, adds details, background)
    By David Shepardson
    WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. communications
regulator on Wednesday approved a plan to allow a growing number
of wireless devices to use part of a spectrum previously set
aside for automakers to develop methods for vehicles to
communicate with each other, a decision that the Transportation
Department warned could result in "thousands of accidents."
    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 5-0 to
split the spectrum block set aside for auto safety. Over the
objections of automakers and some U.S. agencies, the FCC
decision finalized a plan announced last year to divide a block
of the 5.9 GHz spectrum band that was reserved in 1999 for
automakers to develop technology called DSRC, but has so far
gone largely unused.
    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said there is "a pressing need for us
to allocate additional spectrum" for Wi-Fi, noting the
coronavirus pandemic underscored "consumers need access and more
bandwidth to be able to engage in telework, remote learning,
telehealth, and other broadband-related services."
    Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao had warned the FCC
decision could result in "thousands more deaths annually on road
and millions more injuries than would be the case otherwise."
    Major cable, telecom and content companies back the FCC
proposal to open most of the spectrum band to Wi-Fi use. 
    Comcast Corp  CMCSA.O  praised the FCC vote, saying Wi-Fi is
"central to American homes, schools, and workplaces and carries
more broadband traffic than all other wireless technologies
combined." 
    Automakers favor using the spectrum for developing
technology to allow vehicles to exchange data about location,
speed and direction. 
    House of Representatives Transportation Committee chairman
Peter DeFazio called the decision "a gift to corporate interests
at the expense of public safety," adding it "will undermine
decades of development and over a billion public dollars that
the transportation community has invested in these
technologies."   
    The technology has previously been offered on just one
General Motors Co  GM.N  vehicle. Government studies have
suggested that, if widely adopted among, it could prevent at
least 600,000 U.S. crashes annually.
    GM said "the FCC has moved towards jeopardizing roadway
safety."
    The FCC plans to transition the upper 30 megahertz from DSRC
to enable a different automotive communications technology
called Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything and use the other 45
megahertz for wireless use. Safety advocates question if the new
technology will work.

 (Reporting by David Shepardson
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)
 ((David.Shepardson@thomsonreuters.com; 2028988324;))
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