Execs pitch FCC on connected cars

Leading executives from a number of wireless giants met with top officials at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday to talk about new technology in cars.

Commissioners examined new cars and devices and discussed possible policy hurdles to rolling out new features, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association.

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New connected cars need more access to the nation’s airwaves and freedom to control how they manage the flows of data connecting to the Internet, executives from a handful of companies told the commission. 

Available spectrum “fuels” the wireless connections behind the cars, the group said in a blog post explaining the meeting.

When it comes to controlling data flows, executives told the FCC that wireless companies should be exempt from the agency’s upcoming rules on net neutrality, which seek to ban Internet service companies from slowing or blocking access to particular websites.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has hinted at extending the limits to companies that connect to the Internet wirelessly, but the industry has pushed back forcefully.

“The innovators who showcased connected car technology today, and others who are developing new apps and devices, should only be limited by their imagination, not stifled by unnecessary government regulation,” the wireless industry group said on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, General Motors echoed the point that extending rules to wireless companies could unnecessarily inhibit the development of new technologies for cars that rely on accessing the Internet. 

Executives from AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Here — a company owned by Nokia — attended Wednesday’s event at the FCC.