FCC commissioner praises Wi-Fi ‘game plan’

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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.

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“More unlicensed spectrum can mean more Wi-Fi. It means more innovation without license. And it means a real jolt to the ‘Internet of things’ and the innovative possibility of machine-to-machine communications.”

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.