Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) Tuesday reintroduced to the Senate the Wi-Fi Innovation Act, which aims to expand unlicensed spectrum use by requiring the FCC to the feasability of opening the upper 5 GHz band to unlicensed use.
“America’s policies must adapt to the colossal technological advancements that are defining the 21st century and transforming the very nature of the American economy,” said Rubio, in a statement. “The Wi-Fi Innovation Act would bolster innovation, spur economic development, and increase connectivity by providing more spectrum to the public.
Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), and cosponsored by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA).
The Wi-Fi Innovation Act recognizes the need to balance the importance of developing Intelligent Transportation and incumbent licensees in the 5 GHz band, while also maximizing the use of the band for shared purposes. It would also establish a study to examine Wi-Fi deployment in low-income communities and the barriers preventing deployment of wireless networks in low-income neighborhoods.
The FCC would also be required to evaluate incentives and policies that could increase the availability of unlicensed spectrum in low-income neighborhoods to increase adoption in the communities.
CTIA vice president of government affairs Jot Carpenter applauded Rubio and Booker’s promotion of the bill.
“Freeing additional spectrum in the 5 gigahertz band will help meet Americans’ increasing demand for mobile Internet access and support the growth of the Internet of Things,” Carpenter said.
Filed Under: Industry regulations