The Telecommunications Law Resource Center is the most comprehensive reference and news platform for communications law, covering broadcasting, cable, broadband, telephony and wireless;...
By Bryce Baschuk
July 17 --Some House lawmakers have introduced legislation to push the Federal Communications Commission to help expand consumer access to unlicensed wireless networks.
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers sponsored the Wi-Fi Innovation Act (H.R. 5125) July 16 to direct the FCC to test the feasibility of spectrum sharing in the 5 GHz band without interfering with incumbent users.
The 5 GHz band, which is currently occupied by federal users and commercial groups exploring advanced transportation communications systems, is seen as fertile territory to help facilitate machine-to-machine communications.
The effort generally aims to balance the need for spectrum that helps intelligent automobiles prevent crashes with the rapidly growing spectrum demands of interconnected consumer devices like tablets and Wi-Fi thermostats.
“Demand for wireless spectrum is growing rapidly as smartphone and tablet users increasingly use Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet,” said Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), the lead sponsor of the bill. “The Wi-Fi Innovation Act paves a pathway to maximize the use of spectrum and examine ways to expand the deployment of wireless networks and services across the country, so all can benefit from this next-generation technology.”
The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).
“Wi-Fi is already an integral part of our everyday lives; we must meet current demand and put in place a plan to meet growing needs,” Matsui said. “In order to unlock the next generation of wireless technology, we need to optimize our finite amount of available spectrum,” Eshoo said.
(H.R. 5125) builds upon legislation (S. 2505) introduced in the Senate last month by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).
The FCC has a pivotal role in maximizing the benefits of unlicensed spectrum use in the 5 GHz band, while ensuring that the growing number of wireless devices using the band don't interfere with each other. The commission has targeted the 5 GHz band in recent years for unlicensed wireless use as a means to stave off the growing demand and congestion on Wi-Fi networks.
In March, the commission approved an order to free up 100 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum in the 5.1 GHz band for use by high-powered, outdoor Wi-Fi equipment . Last year, the agency proposed rules to make some unlicensed 5 GHz spectrum more usable and provide access to an additional 195 MHz of new unlicensed spectrum in the band .
The legislation may benefit cable companies that increasingly see the 5 GHz band as the foundation for nationwide wireless networks that might one day provide consumers with more choice in the wireless marketplace.
Companies such as Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc., Cox Communications, Bright House Networks, and Cablevision Systems Corp. have spent the past several years activating more than 200,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in the U.S. .
Such a network of wireless connection points could help those companies compete against incumbent wireline and wireless broadband service providers like Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bryce Baschuk in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Rothman at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)