FCC takes step towards opening up more of the 5GHz spectrum for unlicensed use

The FCC as launched a proceeding over its plan to open more of the 5GHz spectrum to alleviate wireless Internet congestion. This is a rule-making proceeding, and although there's still no word on when the expansion will roll out, it's a step in the right direction. In doing this, not only could wireless congestion ease up, but speeds could also increase to 1GBps.

Earlier today, the FCC approved an NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), to look at opening up parts of the 5GHz spectrum to unlicensed use; presently, it is reserved for government and similar use. Specifically, the agency is looking at opening up 195MHz of the 5GHz, increasing the unlicensed access to the spectrum by 35-percent.

Said the FCC's Chairman Julius Genachowski: "Wi-Fi congestion is a very real and growing problem. Like licensed spectrum, demand for unlicensed spectrum threatens to outpace supply." Wi-Fi congestion is particularly high as cellular carriers unload some of their tasks onto wireless networks, in addition to the growing number of mobile users and the increasing demand for data and speeds.

In addition to this issue, the FCC also approved earlier today a measure to set rules concerning signal boosters. The rules give carriers, which have complained that signal boosters can cause interference, the ability to block use of certain boosters, as well as requiring consumers to register their boosters before using them.

[via PC World]