By Julian Hattem - 05/06/14 01:40 PM EDT
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to have developed a new “game plan” for the airwaves that allow Wi-Fi, and Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel thinks that’s a good thing.
“You can count me as excited, because what is taking shape now is finally, at long last, a real game plan for unlicensed spectrum,” she said at an event on the airwaves on Tuesday.
Unlike blocks of the spectrum licensed for specific companies to use for cellphone and tablet access, Wi-Fi devices as well as wireless microphones, baby monitors and other tools operate on unlicensed chunks of the airwaves.
As the FCC moves forward with a plan to buy up airwaves from broadcasters and resell them to phone companies next year, it’s also looking to reserve some areas for more unlicensed use. That could be a boon to tech companies looking to market their devices and should also help out consumers, Rosenworcel said.
Rosenworcel, a Democrat, said at an event sponsored by the WifiForward coalition, which is pushing for unlicensed spectrum, that the FCC needed to be sure to promote high- and low-band spectrum, as well as the more traditional mid-band waves. Each type is effective for different purposes, such as delivering high-power content over short distances, or passing through walls and traveling long distances.
“Now that we have a game plan I think it’s our job to make it happen,” she said.