Safety of Life at 5.9 GHz

In a blog post last week, Commissioner Michael O’Reilly discussed the FCC’s current proceeding on Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSCR) systems in the 5.9 GHz band for automobile safety and urged the Commission to define features that are truly critical to safety-of-life operations. The FCC, NTIA and DOT are working to decide how much spectrum at 5.9 GHz should be allocated for DSCR systems. In his post, O’Reilly argued that auto-related functions (like mapping and navigation, among others) that can be used for monetizing or generating revenues for automobile companies should not be classified as safety-of-life and, thus, should not be included in finalizing a spectrum allocation for DSCR. 

Forfeiture Penalties Adjusted for Inflation

Last week the FCC issued an Order amending its rules to adjust the forfeiture penalties for inflation in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. The adjustments in civil monetary penalties for violations of the Commission’s rules will apply to penalties assessed after July 1, 2016. 

NIST Cybersecurity Framework Update

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently announced that it is updating its Cybersecurity Framework, and plans to release a draft for comment in early 2017. The update will be based on comments NIST has received since the Framework was published in 2014, and will likely include revised references, clarification of the Framework’s Implementation Tiers, and a mechanism for organizations to gauge their approach to managing cybersecurity risk. 


Ligado Networks LLC’s (formerly LightSquared)Chief Technology Officer Tamara Casey announced that the company has been in ongoing discussions with the FAA to address safe power limits and the FAA’s ability to ensure Ligado’s compliance with its rules. Casey stated that Ligado will lower the power of its terrestrial operations in the 1526 – 1536 MHz band on a nationwide basis to ensure there is no impact to certified civil aviation GPS receivers.