This week the FCC opened up 6GHz band to Wi-fi for the everyday average user, and for other unlicensed uses. This was the next big step – the biggest step, from a regulatory standpoint – toward the biggest upgrade in Wi-fi since 1989. The FCC vote opens up more space on which data can transmit over the internet, to cut down on congestion for everyday citizens. There’ll be more space on which data can move, and with 6Ghz, that data can be transmitted a whole lot faster, too.
Earlier this year, we took a look at what Wi-fi 6E meant for you. You’ve more than likely got a Wi-fi router that works with up to 5Ghz wi-fi spectrum. This means you’re likely already transmitting data to your devices in your home to the maximum speed any Wi-fi can transmit, at the moment. But now that 6Ghz is opening up for the general public, the transmission of data via the internet is going to go faster – for some people, not all.
It’s important to note that you will not automatically get the added speed of 6Ghz Wi-fi on your devices as soon as it’s open for the public. You’ll need a router capable of transmitting data at that speed, first. You’ll likely start to see Wi-fi 6 and/or Wi-fi 6E on new routers soon – if you’ve not already started to see said products already. That’ll be the new must-have new feature for home internet.
The date at which the vote by the FCC was called was April 23, 2020. At that time, the FCC announced, “The Federal Communications Commission today adopted rules that make 1,200 megahertz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band (5.925–7.125 GHz) available for unlicensed use.”
“Wi-Fi 6 will be over two-and-a-half times faster than the current standard and will offer better performance for American consumers,” wrote an FCC representative. “Opening the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use will also increase the amount of spectrum available for Wi-Fi by nearly a factor of five and help improve rural connectivity.”
Here at SlashGear our tests with Wi-fi 6 and 6Ghz Wi-fi connectivity will commence in each of our various areas of residence once hardware (and connectivity) is available. Stick around for our first real-world tests, coming up as soon as possible!
UPDATE: The Wi-Fi Alliance sent word that they enthusiastically support the FCC’s decision to expand availability of 6Ghz spectrum. “By making 1200 megahertz of spectrum in 6 GHz available for unlicensed innovation, the Commission opened the flood gates of Wi-Fi benefits for American consumers, enterprises and the economy. Most importantly, the FCC decision ensures that Wi-Fi users can stay connected to colleagues and family, and to healthcare, business, education, and other critical services. Wi-Fi Alliance enthusiastically supports this action and is grateful to the Commission’s leadership and FCC staff for their dedicated effort and commitment over the course of the 6 GHz proceeding.”
UPDATE 2: Today the Wi-Fi Alliance also announced that they’d be expanding their Wi-Fi Certified 6 program into 6GHz. “Certification for Wi-Fi 6E – the brand name for Wi-Fi 6 devices operating in 6 GHz – will be available in early 2021,” said a Wi-Fi Alliance representative.