updated 08:53 am EST, Thu February 21, 2013
Move aims to reduce hotspot congestion
The Federal Communications Commission is currently pushing to allocate additional spectrum for Wi-Fi devices, in an attempt to decrease hotspot congestion and improve performance. The proposal also aims to help accelerate the growth of the latest Wi-Fi technology that is capable of achieving wireless speeds in excess of one gigabit per second, likely referring to 802.11ac equipment that has begun to arrive on the market.
"The proposed modifications would provide access to additional contiguous spectrum with consistent technical requirements, allowing unlicensed devices to use wider bandwidth channels, leading to faster speeds," the commission said in a statement.
The FCC is calling for an additional 195 megahertz of spectrum to be allocated in the 5 GHz band, marking a 35 percent increase from the current spectrum available to unlicensed wireless devices. Aside from the spectrum addition, other details in the proposal are designed to streamline existing rules and equipment authorization procedures for devices that utilize the 5 GHz band.
The Commission has yet to announce a time-frame for implementing the proposal.