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FCC announces efforts to support U.S. Innovation Economy and free up new spectrum to expedite ultra-high-speed, high capacity Wi-Fi. The announcement was made at the 2013 International CES this month.
Chairman Julius Genachowski expressed that the FCC will soon kick-off a government wide effort to increase speeds and alleviate Wi-Fi congestion at major hubs. Among the examples given are large conference gatherings (such as CES perhaps), airports and convention centers, and the home network, where multiple users and devices are competing for network bandwidth and time and reducing the overall performance of the wireless network in general.
The intent is to free up, and increase, by up to 35%, unlicensed spectrum and make it available for ultra-high-speed, high capacity Wi-Fi, or as it’s commonly called “Gigabit Wi-Fi”.
The largest expansion of Wi-Fi since 2003, next month should bring the first steps of this action in the form of an additional 195 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band.
It shouldn’t be long after that we begin to see consumer product on the shelves that take advantage of this, the first standard that will most likely make use of this available 5GHz spectrum, IEEE 802.11ac, has been in development for some time. This standard requires at least twice the bandwidth of the preceding 802.11n standard, but provides a potential speed increase of perhaps tenfold.
FCC Press release