Sunday, October 28, 2018

FCC Proposed New 6 GHz Wifi Spectrum

On October 2, the FCC proposed WiFi access to the 6 GHz region (5.925-7.125 GHz) in addition to the currently accessible 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands of frequencies. 
Currently most WiFi access points operate at either one of those 2.4 GHz of 5 GHz bands. Problems arise as more and more devices are connecting via WiFi. Due to longer wavelengths, 2.4 GHz band signals travel further but with the growing plethora of wireless devices, often suffer from congestion and interference. The 5 GHz band typically operates at higher speeds but does not travel as far due to the shorter wavelengths. 
Opening up the 6 GHz region will provide close to three times what is available in the 2.4 and 5 GHz regions - great for locations where lots of people are connecting at the same time (think college campuses, airport terminals, etc). 
The 6 Ghz frequency region is currently used for point-to-point microwave links and earth-to-space communications along with other data links and there will likely be some opposition. There is a current FCC public commenting period and there will be another vote once the commenting period is over. For details you can read the full FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for ET Docket No. 18-295; GN Docket No. 17-183 linked here.

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