FCC will crack open unlicensed spectrum to speed up wireless Internet

The FCC has unveiled its plan to open an unlicensed spectrum that it says will relieve a wireless internet traffic jam. The announcement came via the Federal Communications Commission's Chairman Julius Genachowski at CES earlier today. Reportedly, this move will not only make things faster at your local Starbucks, library, and anywhere else you'll find public wifi, but also in your home.

Talk has been focused primarily on mobile broadband, with demand for both bandwidth and speed increasing rapidly. Wireless Internet needs some attention too, however, according to the FCC. By making this move, wireless networks in general, and particularly public wifi networks, will be relieved by sharing this new spectrum.

Genachowski offered this statement. "[The FCC is] announcing today that we're moving to free up a substantial amount of spectrum for wifi to relieve wifi congestion and improve wifi speeds at conferences and airports and, ultimately, in people's homes. There's also a wifi traffic jam, and anyone who has been to conferences and airports knows that it is true."

The spectrum in question is the 5GHz band, which is currently in use by the Department of Defense and other government agencies. For now, a proceeding is set for February to move forward with opening the spectrum. Genachowski is estimating that 35-percent of the spectrum will be opened, but says the number may change.

[via The Register]