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February 21, 2013

FCC approves plans to free up additional Wi-Fi spectrum

The FCC said the proposal will increase the amount of 5GHz availability by 35%.

By CBR Staff Writer

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a proposal to free up additional Wi-Fi spectrum to help relieve congestion and increase speeds.

The approval will allow 195 megahertz of additional wireless spectrum in the 5GHz band to be used for unlicensed Wi-Fi use.

The proposal would increase and free up the unlicensed spectrum available for ultrahigh-speed, high-capacity Wi-Fi, known as "Gigabit Wi-Fi, by about 35% from 555 megahertz to 750 megahertz of spectrum.

The FCC claims that the move would be the largest block of unlicensed spectrum to be made available for expansion of Wi-Fi since 2003.

According to the FCC, the proposed modifications would provide access to additional contiguous spectrum with consistent technical requirements, allowing unlicensed devices to use wider bandwidth channels, leading to faster speeds.

The commission has also proposed to streamline existing rules and equipment authorisation procedures for devices throughout the 5GHz band.

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said: "Because the 5GHz band is already used for other purposes by both federal and non-federal users, the effort will require significant consultation with stakeholders to enable non-interfering shared use of the spectrum. But consultation can’t be an excuse for inaction or delay."

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Last month, the FCC called for a rollout of gigabit broadband services in all 50 states in the US by 2015. This is expected to boost the development of important markets and innovation hubs with ultra-fast Internet speeds.

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