ITS (UK) has responded to the latest Ofcom consultation into plans to open up part of the radio spectrum used for tolling – putting forward a series of reasons why more research should be done before any change is made.
The telecoms regulator wants to allow the Broadband Fixed Wireless Access (BFWA) protocol to use the 5.8 GHz spectrum currently reserved for road tolling. BFWA allows for longer range broadband transmission, but there are significant concerns that such use would interfere with tolling operations.
ITS (UK) used members’ expertise to put forward a number of points to Ofcom. These included reasons why potential interference would cause major problems for toll road operators using ‘dedicated short range communication’ for tolling.
“The RTTT (Road Transport and Traffic Telematics) transaction with a car passing under the gantry takes around 30 milliseconds which includes interchange of several messages; so any interference at that time would be disastrous, with no opportunity for a second attempt, since the vehicle would by then be out of range, or at least out of the beam pattern,” its submission read.
It also argued: “It is surely not unreasonable to require that those recommending change do more to prove their position rather than require it from those wishing to keep current regulation.”
In addition ITS (UK) pointed out that the spectrum may be used for more transport related solutions in the future, including clean air zone monitoring. It also highlighted question marks around post-Brexit customs arrangements, which is key given the extensive use of the RTTT equipment on the continent.
ITS (UK) secretary general Jennie Martin commented: “The ITS (UK) membership has an extensive range of experts across transport technology. By bringing them together for responses to consultations like this the industry can speak with one voice and increase the likelihood that organisations like Ofcom reach the correct solutions.”
The consultation document has been returned to Ofcom and ITS (UK) awaits its next communications.