Remarks of FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel at “Moving WI-FI Forward”


Coverage Type: speech
Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

It is high time we give unlicensed spectrum -- airwaves open to all under technical rules -- its due.

Because it is an essential part of the wireless ecosystem, a critical part of wireless service, and an important input into the modern economy. In fact, the economic impact of unlicensed spectrum has been estimated at $140 billion annually. By any measure that is a lot.

So I think it is time for an unlicensed spectrum game plan. It should no longer be an afterthought in our spectrum policy. It deserves attention upfront, in policy prime time.

An unlicensed game plan takes high-band, mid-band, and low-band spectrum. High-band spectrum provides the large channels necessary for high-definition video at short distances—think streaming video from your laptop to your television. Mid-band spectrum sacrifices some of that throughput, but gives you further reach. Low-band spectrum can go far and wide, and as a result is ideal for larger-scale Wi-Fi deployments and machine-to-machine communications.

To build powerful wireless communications systems, you need a playbook that includes all three.

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