Friday, February 22, 2013

FCC Proposes Greater Sharing of 5 GHz Ham Band for Unlicensed Wi-Fi Devices

The FCC in late February issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (FCC 13-22) seeking to provide an additional 195 megahertz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi use, as well as other broadband services. Amateurs currently have a secondary allocation on the band between 5.650 and 5.925 GHz, and since 1997, 100 MHz of that allocation (5.725-5.825 GHz) has been shared with unlicensed "National Information Infrastructure" users. The new proposal would extend that shared spectrum to include 5.850-5.925 GHz, effectively making all but 100 MHz of the amateur allocation on the band shared with unlicensed Wi-Fi devices.