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FCC Rules To Speed Up Wi-Fi Networks

Washington — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted new rules that will accelerate Wi-Fi speeds in homes and in outdoor and indoor Wi-Fi hot spots. 3/31/2014 11:31:00 AM Eastern

Washington — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted new rules that will accelerate Wi-Fi speeds in homes and in outdoor and indoor Wi-Fi hot spots.

The new rules, which apply to the 5GHz band and not to the 2.4GHz band, will also increase overall Wi-Fi-network capacity and reduce congestion at hot spots, the FCC said.

The new rules remove the current restriction on indoor-only use of 5.15-5.25GHz Wi-Fi networks and increase the permissible power available to Wi-Fi networks in the band, which represents 100MHz of spectrum.

The rules change means that 1GB-speed Wi-Fi 802.11ac technology, which operates in the 5GHz band, can now be deployed in outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots, the FCC said. The rules also streamline equipment authorization procedures for devices throughout the 5GHz band.

Separately, the FCC is still considering a proposal, announced more than a year ago at the 2013 International CES, to open up an additional 195MHz of bandwidth in the 5GHz band for Wi-Fi use, expanding the 5GHz Wi-Fi band by 35 percent.

On that proposal, the FCC is awaiting further technical analyses in the two [up/down] bands that would provide the extra 195MHz.