Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

FCC Increases 5GHz Spectrum for Wi-Fi, Other Unlicensed Uses

Download Options

Released: March 31, 2014

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


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).



March 31, 2014
Bruce Romano, 202-418-2124



Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission today provided for accelerated 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 new rules will make 100 MHz of
spectrum more accessible for use in homes and congested spaces like convention centers, parks, and
airports and increase the potential for more unlicensed spectrum innovation.
The Commission adopted a Report and Order modifying the rules governing the operation of Unlicensed
National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices operating in the 5 GHz band. By its action the
Commission significantly increased the utility of the 100 megahertz of spectrum, and streamlined existing
rules and equipment authorization procedures for devices throughout the 5 GHz band.
U-NII devices play an important role in meeting public demand for wireless broadband service. Currently
U-NII devices operate in 555 megahertz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band, and are used for Wi-Fi and other
high-speed wireless connections. These devices support a variety of applications including Wi-Fi hot
spots and wireless home local area networks to connect smart phones, tablets and laptops to the Internet,
broadband service to rural areas offered by Wireless Internet Service Providers and off-loading of traffic
from commercial cellular wireless networks.
The rules adopted today remove the current restriction on indoor-only use and increase the permissible
power which will provide more robust access in the 5.150-5.250 GHz band. This in turn will allow U-NII
devices to better integrate with other unlicensed portions of the 5 GHz band to offer faster speeds and
reduce congestion at crowded Wi-Fi hot spots such as airports and convention centers.
The Commission also modified certain technical rules to improve protection for incumbent systems by
requiring manufacturers to secure their devices against illegal modification which could cause
interference to incumbent users in the band.
Action by the Commission March 31, 2014 by First Report and Order (FCC 14-30). Chairman Wheeler,
Commissioners, Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai, and O’Rielly with Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners
Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai and O’Rielly issuing statements.
For further information, contact Mark Settle (202-418-2470); ) or Aole Wilkins
-- FCC --

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.


You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.