(The following press release from FCC was received by e-mail. The sender
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
January 9, 2013
Justin Cole, 202-418-8191
FCC CHAIRMAN JULIUS GENACHOWSKI ANNOUNCES MAJOR EFFORT TO INCREASE WI-FI SPEEDS
AND ALLEVIATE WI-FI CONGESTION AT AIRPORTS, CONVENTION CENTERS, AND IN HOMES
WITH MULTIPLE DEVICES AND USERS
FCC Action To Free Up New Spectrum For Wi-Fi Will Kick-Off Government-Wide
Effort To Expedite Ultra-High-Speed, High-Capacity Wi-Fi And Support U.S.
Innovation Economy; Increasing "Gigabit Wi-Fi" Spectrum by 35%
Will Provide For Higher Speeds and Greater Capacity At Major Wi-Fi Hubs,
Allowing For Multiple HD Video Streams
Washington, D.C. - While speaking at the 2013 International CES, FCC Chairman
Julius Genachowski announced today that the Commission will soon kick-off a
government-wide effort to increase speeds and alleviate Wi-Fi congestion at
major hubs, such as airports, convention centers and large conference
gatherings. In addition, this would also increase speed and capacity for Wi-Fi
in the home where multiple users and devices are often on the network at the
same time. This will increase and free up the unlicensed spectrum available
for ultra-high-speed, high-capacity Wi-Fi - known as "Gigabit Wi-Fi" - by up to
35 percent. This effort will enable higher data speeds and greater capacity -
most notably, improved HD video distribution capability.
Chairman Genachowski said that the FCC will take the first steps next month to
unleash up to 195 megahertz of spectrum in the 5 gigahertz band. This would be
the largest block of unlicensed spectrum to be made available for expansion of
Wi-Fi since 2003.
Chairman Genachowski said, "We all know the frustration of Wi-Fi congestion at
conferences and airports. Today, the FCC is moving to bring increased speed
and capacity to Wi-Fi networks by increasing the amount of unlicensed spectrum
for Wi-Fi. As this spectrum comes on line, we expect it to relieve congested
Wi-Fi networks at major hubs like convention centers and airports. It will
also help in homes as tablets and smartphones proliferate and video use rises.
"When the FCC helped pioneer Wi-Fi nearly thirty years ago - through an
innovative spectrum policy that relied on unlicensed use - no one knew the
potential it held. But that FCC-created platform for innovation gave us
cordless phones, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, benefitting consumers and our economy
massively. We'll keep nurturing today's Wi-Fi as we also develop a next
generation of spectrum policies to drive our mobile future for our innovators
and our economy."
Because the 5 gigahertz band is already used for other purposes by both federal
and non-federal users, the effort will require significant collaboration with
other federal agencies. Chairman Genachowski committed the Commission to move
expeditiously to complete the proceeding.
In addition to efforts like today's announcement to improve on existing Wi-Fi
networks, the Commission has taken steps in recent years to unleash the
potential of next-generation unlicensed spectrum. Next-generation unlicensed
spectrum is in lower frequencies than existing Wi-Fi, and enables wireless
communications to travel longer distances and better penetrate barriers like
walls and provide improved coverage over hilly terrain.
In 2010, the Commission provided for operation of unlicensed devices in the
unused spectrum between broadcast TV channels, called white spaces. Unlocking
this valuable spectrum is opening the doors for new industries to arise,
creating American jobs, and fueling new investment and innovation.
In addition, as part of the effort to implement the world's first incentive
auction, the FCC proposed to ensure that a significant amount of low-band
unlicensed spectrum recovered from TV broadcasters will be available on a
consistent, nationwide basis for the first time.
News about the Federal Communications Commission can also be found on the
Commission's web site www.fcc.gov<http://www.fcc.gov/>.
Neil Derek Grace
Federal Communications Commission
202-418-0506 (o) 202-413-4959 (m)
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