The FCC Proposes to Supercharge Wi-Fi

Group of young professionals high-five in office with laptops

Wi-Fi has transformed the way we connect in America. It empowers us to conduct business, catch up with family and friends, do homework, obtain a medical diagnosis, stream our favorite shows and much more. And today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the federal agency which governs the way America communicates, proposed making the future of Wi-Fi faster.

In December, the agency plans to vote on an item that would dedicate more unrestricted access to airwaves, commonly referred to as spectrum. This would help to relieve congested Wi-Fi networks and help supercharge access to the next generation of high-speed internet.

A Step in the Right Direction

The new FCC proposal is a step in the direction that the Beyond community has been calling for the past few months. Now, the FCC has the opportunity to supercharge the speed at which we can connect to the next generation of blazing fast networks, such as 10G.

However, we still need the FCC’s vote in favor of more spectrum for Wi-Fi. Why is this important?

  • Existing Wi-Fi is over-crowded and can’t support the coming surge in Wi-Fi demand.

As our appetite for more connectivity grows, the number of internet-enabled devices is expected to exceed 500 billion in 2030. However, the FCC hasn’t allocated any spectrum for Wi-Fi open since before the iPhone was introduced in 2007. That’s over a decade! The nation’s first Wi-Fi band is so overburdened that experts say it is no longer suitable for certain applications. And as the traffic lanes that allow Wi-Fi to travel become much more congested, our current Wi-Fi can’t support America’s growing demands.

  • By 2022, 71% of 5G mobile traffic will rely on Wi-Fi.

5G networks promise faster speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity to mobile users.  But 5G network operators can’t deliver on that promise without robust Wi-Fi networks to carry the majority of that traffic.  When you use your phone on a 5G network, that data goes to a cellular antenna, which then relies on Wi-Fi to carry the data to its final destination. Cisco estimates that 71% of 5G mobile traffic will be offloaded to Wi-Fi by 2022.  To accommodate that coming wave of 5G traffic, Wi-Fi networks will require more spectrum resources.

  • Next generation technologies require more spectrum and supercharged Wi-Fi.

The next generation of Wi-Fi technology, Wi-Fi 6, will be deploying soon.  Today, the most suitable spectrum for this technology is both unavailable for Wi-Fi and underutilized.  The FCC’s proposal will fix this in a way that allows providers to deliver the fastest next-generation speeds to homes, businesses, industrial facilities, hospitals, ports, rail yards, and airports across the country.

Support for the FCC Proposal

The FCC’s proposal to add unlicensed spectrum comes at a critical time for our nation’s communications infrastructure. The future of Wi-Fi is at stake and this proposal is this right move to ensure that American consumers can benefit from the next generation of high-speed internet.

However, before the proposal becomes law there is an opportunity for individuals to support the FCC’s proposed change.  When the comment period opens, we hope that the Beyond community will mobilize to show your continued support for our connected future. Today, you can continue to spread the word and learn more about Wi-Fi’s future.

Sign our Wi-Fi Petition at: More Spectrum, Supercharged Wi-Fi.