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Increased Spectrum Available for Unlicensed Devices in the 5 GHz Band

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Released: February 20, 2013

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

February 20, 2013
Bruce Romano, 202-418-2124
Bruce.Romano@fcc.gov

FCC ACTS TO SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE SPECTRUM AVAILABLE FOR

UNLICENSED DEVICES IN THE 5 GHz BAND

Washington, D.C. -- The Federal Communications Commission today takes the first steps to unleash
significant additional spectrum to accelerate the growth and expansion of new Wi-Fi technology that can
offer faster speeds of one gigabit per second or more, increase overall capacity, and reduce congestion at
Wi-Fi hot spots.
The Commission proposed to make up to 195 megahertz of additional spectrum in the 5 GHz band (a
35% increase) available to unlicensed wireless devices. It also proposed to create a more flexible
regulatory environment, and to streamline existing rules and equipment authorization procedures for
devices throughout this band.
Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices today operate in 555 megahertz of
spectrum in the 5 GHz band, and are used for short range, high speed wireless connections including Wi-
Fi enabled local area networks and fixed outdoor broadband transceivers used by wireless Internet service
providers to connect smart phones, tablets and laptops to the broadband network.
The proposed modifications would provide access to additional contiguous spectrum with consistent
technical requirements, allowing unlicensed devices to use wider bandwidth channels, leading to faster
speeds.
Importantly, the initiation of this proceeding also carries out the course of action prescribed by the Middle
Class Tax Relief and Jobs Creation Act of 2012 for expanding spectrum for unlicensed use.
Action by the Commission February 20, 2013, by Notice of Proposed Rule Making (FCC 13-22).
Chairman Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel, and Pai. Separate statements
issued by Chairman Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel, and Pai.
For further information, contact Mark Settle (202-418-2470; mark.settle@fcc.gov ) or Aole Wilkins
(202-418-2406; aole.wilkins@fcc.gov).
-- FCC --

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