The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is set to approve an expansion of unlicensed radio frequencies that could lead to more robust Wi-Fi networks. The agency will decide whether or not to move forward with the change as early as its September 23rd meeting, potentially opening the door for wide range wireless networks, according to the New York Times.
The frequencies were used for television broadcast ahead of the transition to digital signals and can pass through obstacles better, and travel farther without losing quality.
Assuming the FCC approves the change, companies could start building Wi-Fi access points that lead to strong signal blanketing in many areas, essentially creating a ubiquitous Wi-Fi network that could be used for Internet access or with services like Skype as an alternative to cell phone service providers.
Even if the FCC move forward with the plan to open the analog TV spectrum, manufacturers will still have to build products that support the frequencies, so don’t expect to see compatible laptops and other portable electronics right away.