FCC moves to unleash more spectrum for drone communications
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed new rules to promote access to licensed radio spectrum by drone operators.
Drones today are being used in innumerable ways for the public good. They are facilitating the rapid restoration of power infrastructure after a storm, aiding in first responder missions such as search and rescue, and even helping to manage wildfires.
But in the absence of licensed spectrum, drones are being operated primarily under unlicensed and low-power wireless communications rules or experimental licenses. Neither of these spectrum resources provides drone users with any right to protection from harmful interference. As a result, the reliability of communications using these resources is also uncertain.
And now, with drone use evolving to include the transport of heavy cargo and even human passengers, there has never been a greater need for reliable control- and safety-related communications with drones. This can be…