US regulators give Wi-Fi more breathing space

Feb 21, 2013
Dutch tourist Bas Derksen surfs the internet at a free Wi-Fi hotspot in Manhattan.

US telecom regulators have moved to expand the capacities for Wi-Fi Internet access with more room on the broadcast spectrum and "more flexible" rules.

The said actions announced Wednesday would "unleash significant additional spectrum to accelerate the growth and expansion of new Wi-Fi technology" with faster speeds, more capacity and reduced congestion at Wi-Fi hot spots.

The agency said it was proposing a 35 percent increase in the range of spectrum in the 5 GHz band for "unlicensed wireless devices," which use Wi-Fi.

The proposed rules, which may be finalized after public comment, also calls for "a more flexible regulatory environment" which would "streamline existing rules and equipment authorization procedures for devices throughout this band."

The move comes with the United States seeking ways to use more Wi-Fi signals for mobile devices, as a way to ease the so-called "spectrum crunch" stemming from a surge in the use of smartphones and tablets.

Gary Shapiro, head of the , welcomed the action, saying it would "expedite ultra high-speed, high-capacity Wi-Fi in support of the US innovation economy."

The Internet Innovation Alliance said that consumers "stand to benefit from this unlicensed spectrum through increased speeds and decreased congestion at a variety of locations including airports, and community anchor institutions across the nation."

But the Association of Global said it was "concerned about the potential risk associated with introducing a substantial number of unlicensed devices," saying it "may compromise the integrity of vehicle-to -prevention technology systems.

"While we do not oppose efforts to expand Wi-Fi, we are concerned about the potential for interference if these other devices are also using the same spectrum," added the group's Michael Cammisa.

"Global Automakers and our members are committed to working with the FCC and other stakeholders to evaluate the effect of spectrum sharing proposals," he said.

Explore further: Creating the fastest outdoor wireless Internet connection in the world

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Wi-Fi Alliance announces Passpoint program to start in June

May 09, 2012

(Phys.org) -- The Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group bent on making Wi-Fi access more available more easily, has announced that it will begin certifying devices and hot-spot providers (using the Hotspot 2 definition) starting next month ...

FCC opens up unused TV signals for broadband

Sep 23, 2010

(AP) -- The Federal Communications Commission is opening up unused airwaves between television channels for wireless broadband networks that will be more powerful and can reach farther than today's Wi-Fi hotspots.

Recommended for you

China condemns 'cyber terrorism' in wake of Sony attack

4 minutes ago

China's foreign minister condemned all forms of "cyber terrorism" in talks with his American counterpart, a statement said Monday, as the US accused Beijing's ally North Korea with being behind a cyber attack on Sony Pictures.

BlackBerry rides with Boeing on self-destruct phone

14 minutes ago

The news from Reuters on Friday came as no shock to those who know Blackberry's strong rep for security (John Chen, the company's CEO, is not shy about promoting the company's branding message of safety. ...

Cyclist's helmet, Volvo car to communicate for safety

17 hours ago

Volvo calls it "a life-saving wearable cycling tech concept." The car maker is referring to a connected car and helmet prototype that enables two-way communication between Volvo drivers and cyclists for proximity ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.