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FCC plans to free up more spectrum in effort to relieve congested Wi-Fi networks

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Julius Genachowski
Julius Genachowski

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a plan to free up more spectrum in the 5GHz range for Wi-Fi purposes. Speaking at an event in Las Vegas today, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that the freed spectrum will relieve the congestion and "traffic jam" that currently constricts Wi-Fi networks today. The extra spectrum is currently used by the Department of Defense, and will be shared with government purposes should the proposal be approved. Genachowski said he tentatively believes these measures will increase the amount of 5GHz availability by 35%, occupying an extra 200MHz of spectrum. Following up on congressional recommendation, the proposal would also consolidate white spaces in the spectrum into a national contiguous block of unlicensed spectrum, left open to spur wireless innovation. The FCC is due to review the proposal next month.