The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will allow more of the 5 gigahertz radio spectrum to be used for WiFi networks, increasing the availability and speed of WiFi across the country, as FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The FCC regulates the rights to use spectrum blocks via licenses, and has already made some of this band of spectrum open to WiFi. But now, 195 megahertz of new spectrum in the 5GhZ block will be opened up, the largest to be freed for WiFi since 2003, which should allow speed increases up to 35 percent, the FCC noted. As the Genachowski stated in a news release:
“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.”
The FCC will begin the processing of making the new 5Ghz block available in February. Currently, the 5Ghz block to be opened is used for federal and non-federal purposes.
(H/T: Ars Technica)