The FCC Wants to Improve WiFi With a New 5.9 GHz Band

Today the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans to bring a vote on plans to use the 5.9 GHz band for unlicensed use like WiFi. This would allow the now crowded WiFi bands to expand into a new spectrum allowing for faster speeds and more options.

“After 20 years of seeing these prime airwaves go largely unused, the time has come for the FCC to take a fresh look at the 5.9 GHz band. And I’m pleased to announce that today, I shared with my FCC colleagues a proposal to end the uncertainty around the 5.9 GHz band and set a path for the deployment of new services. Specifically, I’m proposing to make available the lower 45 MHz of the band for unlicensed uses like Wi-Fi and allocate the upper 20 MHz for a new automotive communications technology, Cellular Vehicle to Everything, or C-V2X,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

“Since its launch, Wi-Fi has become a staple of everyday life,” Chairman Pai went on to say. “It binds together all our phones and laptops. It has become a foundational technology for the Internet of Things, connecting our TVs, thermostats, baby monitors, refrigerators, washing machines, toys, and even toilets. It drives basic consumer decisions, like where to reserve a hotel room. Small wonder that a  survey a few years ago found that 40% of consumer-respondents said Wi-Fi was more important to them on a daily basis than intimate relations, alcohol, and chocolate. Wi-Fi now carries more than half of the Internet’s traffic. It has arguably kept cellular networks afloat by reducing the traffic load on those networks.”

The vote for this new 5.9 GHz WiFi band will take place on December 12th, 2019. The FCC will also vote on using the 76-to-81 GHz band for vehicular radars and dedicating the 45 MHz band for unlicensed operations like transportation-related communications.

What do you think of the FCC plans? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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