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FCC Proposes Releasing 195 MHz of Unlicensed Spectrum at 5 GHz (2/21/13)
The FCC took steps to make available significant additional unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi. The commission said the steps will accelerate the growth and expansion of new Wi-Fi technology that can offer faster speeds of 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) or more, increase overall capacity and reduce congestion at Wi-Fi hot spots.

The commission proposed to make up to 195 megahertz of additional spectrum in the 5 GHz band — a 35 percent increase — available to unlicensed wireless devices. It also proposed to create a more flexible regulatory environment and to streamline existing rules and equipment authorization procedures for devices throughout this band.

Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices 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 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.

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