Spectrum may not be a household word, but we rely on it every day for the connected devices like smartphones and portable devices that are a central part of our lives. Spectrum is a term used to describe the radio frequencies that all wireless communications use. And, as there are only so many radio frequencies, spectrum is a limited and valuable resource. As the Internet of Things (IoT) connects everyday devices from household appliances and our cars, to industrial systems and commercial transportation fleets, more spectrum will be required and spectrum will become an even more important issue for connectivity and future innovations.
ITI has long held the view that we must make efficient use of all spectrum to meet our nation’s growing demand.
The bipartisan Wi-Fi Innovation Act bills introduced today in the Senate by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL); and in the House of Representatives by Reps. Bob Latta (R-OH), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Doris Matsui (D-CA), and Suzan DelBene (D-CA); would help utilize and manage the upper 5GHz band of spectrum more efficiently to meet the growing demand for bandwidth from connected vehicles and next generation Wi-Fi.
The Wi-Fi innovation Act would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to facilitate technical and engineering analysis to determine how unlicensed Wi-Fi use can coexist with connected vehicle technology without jeopardizing safety. Moreover, with this bill, we are optimistic that if the significant technical expertise and input from many of our member companies is included to advance the technical process, successful sharing of the upper 5 GHz band is feasible.
The 5 GHz band offers tremendous opportunity to expand unlicensed Wi-Fi use and features, building on the benefits tens of millions of Americans already use to connect in their homes, at work, and in public spaces across the country. We commend these lawmakers for working together in a bipartisan fashion to introduce this proposal, and look forward to working with them to encourage their colleagues to support these bills to benefit the American public and our economy.