|March 31, 2014 | By Steve Donohue
FCC commissioners agreed to open up 100 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band available for use with Wi-Fi services, in a big win for Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and other broadband providers that have said they need more unlicensed spectrum to support advanced services.
“Today’s decision is a win for every consumer who uses Wi-Fi. It will help alleviate congestion and pave the way for next generation Wi-Fi technologies that will operate at gigabit-per-second speeds,” Comcast VP of Regulatory Policy David Don said in a prepared statement.
The move was also cheered by National Cable & Telecommunications Association CEO Michael Powell, who said the FCC action will drive a “substantially faster Wi-Fi experience” for American consumers.
The FCC said the new rules will remove the restriction on indoor-only use for the 5 GHz band. “This in turn will allow U-NII devices to better integrate with other unlicensed portions of the GHz band to offer faster speeds and reduce congestion at crowded Wi-Fi hot spots such as airports and convention centers,” the commission said.