FCC Change Could Boost Wi-Fi

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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.

Comments

geoduck

First reaction:
Cool, this will be really good.
Second reaction:
Oh c*** now I’ll be getting even more questions and complaints from uninformed people who think WiFi is making them sick.

Lee Dronick

Oh c*** now I?ll be getting even more questions and complaints from uninformed people who think WiFi is making them sick.

Aluminum foil hats can help with that. smile

Gary

> Assuming the FCC approves the change…

Of course, this would only apply to the US - and not necessarily internationally.  Thereby affecting the potential complexity (and cost) of devices designed and built to support multiple sales regions…

geoduck

Of course, this would only apply to the US - and not necessarily internationally.?

Very true, but I think it’s likely to be approved. As I understand it the only opposition is broadcasters that are worried about interference. I think the mfg of WiFi equipment just have to show that they won’t have any spillover and it will sail through.
Here in Canada we won’t do the Digital TV switchover for another year or so. The spectrum isn’t free yet. But once that happens I’d expect to see Canada match the US in fairly short order. Too many people live near the border, on both sides.

Gary

Here in Canada we won?t do the Digital TV switchover for another year or so.

We’re under way, here in the UK.  It’s being done region by region and the project is spread over several years.  I’m not sure if the to-be-freed-up frequencies will align on both sides of the Atlantic though.

jimothy

Geoduck,

I think my WiFi is giving me athlete’s foot, unsightly earlobe hair, and halitosis. What would you recommend? On the plus side, my rash did clear up.

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