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Communications The Internet Wireless Networking Technology

FCC Moves To Boost Wireless Speeds 40

coondoggie writes "The Federal Communications Commission said it wants to make up to 195 megahertz of additional spectrum in the 5 GHz band available to unlicensed wireless devices with the idea that such a move would enable Wi-Fi equipment that can offer faster speeds of one gigabit per second or more, increase overall capacity, and reduce congestion. 'Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure devices today operate in 555 megahertz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band, and are used for short range, high speed wireless connections including Wi-Fi enabled local area networks and fixed outdoor broadband transceivers used by wireless Internet service providers to connect smart phones, tablets and laptops to the broadband network,' the FCC stated."
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FCC Moves To Boost Wireless Speeds

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  • We know (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It was discussed a month ago [slashdot.org].

    • by uanmi ( 2778353 )
      Yes and it is possible other countries will make increased spectrum available at lower bands http://www.technologyspectator.com.au/free-super-wi-fi-possible-australia [technology...tor.com.au]
  • by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @09:21PM (#42961499)

    It will help, but don't expect this any time soon. Because no existing device (probably 802.11ac or earlier) will support the new spectrum, we're not going to see much advantages to the new spectrum until whatever comes after 802.11ac (unless they try to brand it as a "v2" thing)

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually that's untrue. The FCC is putting a process in place to certify existing devices for the new frequencies. Ubiquiti, Cambium, Mikrotik, and others will have a streamlined approval process to go through, and then the new bands will be unlocked via a firmware change. This is no different from the DDFS/U-NII approval process they went through awhile back.

      • by icebike ( 68054 )

        This presumes you can actually get those chipsets to make use of these additional frequencies with firmware. In the best of cases, firmware fixes for routers may be possible, (unless the chip designers built filters in silicone so that software would be powerless to do anything).

        And it also presumes you can get firmware for all the chips in your devices, laptops, phones, tablets, etc. That seems less likely.
        You essentially have to wait 5 years for for the product development cycle, all the way from software

  • For me, the issue has never been speed. It has been "not enough channels" and/or "want more range". Of course, this move can at least help with channels. I don't think it will do much for range. But if devices are allowed to just spread spectrum across more and more of the frequencies, it won't help much with channels/congestion either.

    • This would help the not enough channels out a bit, because 5ghz signals don't penetrate as well as 2.4ghz signals do. But, really, what needs to happen is the WAP manufacturers need to offer lower powered gear for apartment dwellers and others in urban environments.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Please, radio signals aren't going to go any faster. They're trying to make more frequencies available thereby provide more bandwidth.

  • The new spectrum allocation for unlicensed use around 5.9 GHz would conflict with previously-planned allocation for connected vehicle (aka "V2V") technology. The extent of potential interference between these differing uses is not yet understood. I hope this WiFi plan does not blow it for the auto and traffic safety industries.

    See http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130221/AUTO01/302210334/1148/auto01/Auto-industry-worried-FCC-decision-open-Wi-Fi-spectrum-could-hinder-technology [detroitnews.com] for more.

  • I'd like to see commercial use of this spectrum illegal.

    IMHO, the issue isn't too many consumer devices, it's too much commercial use of the spectrum (like the city-granted monopoly wireless franchise) that insists on using the good channels at max power everywhere.

    I don't have an issue with businesses using wifi internally or the coffee shop, but I do think it's crappy that the spectrum meant for localized, low-power usage gets stepped on by entities broadcasting everywhere at max power.

    It makes me want to

    • by Elshar ( 232380 )

      That's actually incredibly illegal. You're not allowed by the FCC to intentionally put noise out that interferes with other people's equipment.

      Also, ALL wifi stuff is considered 'low power' because of it's power levels. It's not talking about 50mw cards in your home router vs the 200mw cards put up on the towers. It's talking about devices which compared to traditional radio equipment is 'low power'. Generally speaking, this is stuff which has a transmission radius of approximately 10-15 miles without amps,

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        Finally, commercial wireless carriers are a way of providing an alternate means of internet connectivity in places which are notoriously hard to get connected such as dense urban areas

        Yeah, before Minneapolis put in its 802.11 wireless system, I "only" had six choices for Internet access. True, four of the cellular providers were kind of expensive and limited for the usual kind of home internet access, but there was also DSL (with multiple ISP choices) and Cable for high bandwidth and lower cost.

        I'm fine w

  • The real problem right now with DFS is that a large chunk of the current 5GHz spectrum (5470-5725) is actually required to use it. So, of the 555MHz, 255 of it is actually more or less unusable for carriers due to the constraints imposed upon it. Since you typically provision a new sector with the current interference in mind, it's possible to set an AP to a "good" channel, and connect a client to it, only to have DFS kick it to a new channel when it hears relevant interference. Causing the AP to move to a

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