Senators Marco Rubio and Cory Booker today introduced important legislation that sets the FCC on a path to increase the amount of Wi-Fi spectrum available to consumers. The bill reflects a bipartisan consensus on the importance of the upper portion of the 5 GHz band for meeting consumers’ skyrocketing demand for mobile broadband services.
The Rubio-Booker bill takes a practical and evidence-based approach to meeting consumer Wi-Fi demand while protecting incumbent users. It directs the FCC to (1) seek comment on how Wi-Fi devices can best share the spectrum with future Intelligent Transportation Service technologies without causing harmful interference, (2) develop a plan for Wi-Fi devices to test sharing technologies and approaches, and (3) designate the upper band for Wi-Fi use using the best sharing techniques available. The result will transform 75 megahertz of currently moribund and lightly used spectrum into a powerhouse for American broadband.
Congress’s continuing attention to the 5 GHz band highlights the importance of this spectrum for Wi-Fi. As we've explained before, Wi-Fi is a sort of 'victim of its own success' with consumers beginning to experience congestion in the core Wi-Fi band at 2.4 GHz. But, as the FCC's recent action shows, there's a path forward to easing congestion by releasing more spectrum for Wi-Fi in the 5 GHz band. Today’s developments are equally important to getting consumers connected to Gigabit Wi-Fi which relies on channels that will solely be available in the 5 GHz band. Senators Rubio and Booker understand this and their bill paves the way for an FCC decision that will deliver real and lasting benefits to American consumers, schools, and businesses. Given our commitment to providing our customers with the best Wi-Fi experience possible, Comcast enthusiastically supports their bill.