The United States Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously last week to propose the release of significant new wireless spectrum for Wi-Fi via a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The rulemaking would make available an additional 195 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band for Wi-Fi, and is particularly useful for the emerging generation of gigabit-speed Wi-Fi, based on IEEE 802.11ac. This would be the largest block of unlicensed spectrum made available for Wi-Fi in the U.S. in more than a decade.
Interested parties will have 45 days to submit comments, and an additional 30 days to submit reply comments, from the time the NPRM is published in the Federal Register, which is likely to occur within the next few weeks. The FCC will consider input from the public as well as the input from the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which administers spectrum used by U.S. federal entities that currently employ some of the 5 GHz band. After that, the FCC will issue one or more decisions, likely making some or all of the targeted 195 MHz available.
Wi-Fi Alliance Perspective:
Wi-Fi Alliance commends the United States Federal Communications Commission for its leadership and swift progress toward this spectrum release.
“Consumers, service providers and businesses rely on Wi-Fi now more than ever,” said Wi-Fi Alliance president and CEO Edgar Figueroa. “The added spectrum in 5 GHz will foster continued innovation in Wi-Fi technology and help propel advancements toward faster, less congested Wi-Fi networks in homes, enterprises, and public places throughout the United States.”
News Source: Wi-Fi Alliance