The FCC Will Relax Rules and Increase Unlicensed Airwaves
On February 20, 2013 the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) took bold action to reduce some of the wireless congestion we are experiencing here in the United States.
New regulations by the FCC will help relax some of the wireless congestion. In Washington the FCC went forward in attempting to relieve the increasing log jam in Wi-Fi networks throughout the United States in areas such as, homes, airports, train stations and hotels. Actually any place where Americans are using an increasing amount of data on their notebooks, personal computers, smart phones, wireless surveillance systems, tablets and other wireless communication devices. Before we get into the action the FCC has taken to relax and congestion let's take a historical look at how we got here in the first place.
Guglielmo Marconies pioneered the Intercontinental wireless broadcast of Morse code across the Atlantic Ocean in 1901. A plethora of experiments on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean took place after that. In the beginning these transmissions were noncommercial but soon that changed. A public demand for equipment and programming increase and so did the nature of the content of these signals. A broadcast signal is a wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum containing information. The first commercial station became operational in November 1920 – KDKA of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (It continues to operate as a commercial broadcast station to this day) and by November 1922 there were 564 license radio broadcasters throughout the United States.
As one might expect, when an exponential growth occurs there would be problems. By 1926 the first broadcasting network was established making radio a monetary industrial giant. This new industry was unregulated and politics, favoritism and special deals develop with certain broadcasting companies. Local and state governments were not capable of dealing with the growth of unregulated broadcast stations and related industries. Ultimately, the federal government with it enormous power stepped in with the 1927 Radio Act which carefully outlined the rights of both consumers and broadcast producers then created the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to police broadcast operations.
Currently, the FCC is composed of five commissioners selected by presidential appointments. The five members are James Genacowski, chairman of the FCC, Robert McDowell, Migon Clyburn, Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai. Under the leadership of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and it's four commissioners the FCC proposes to make a large portion of high frequency airwaves for electromagnetic spectrum available for unlicensed use. This would allow for transmission speeds of up to 1 GB per second. These speeds are at least 100 times more than the current Internet speed in the average home in the United States.
As a result of these new unlicensed airwaves the FCC anticipates a plethora of new and more advanced innovations. According to FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel "These airwaves can be a colossal catalyst for new innovations. It features enough continuous spectrum to unlock the full potential of a new Wi-Fi standard", also called 802.11ac.
Currently, the majority of the public airwaves, for example those used for radio and television broadcasting, also satellite and cell phone communications are licensed to various corporations and those companies control their specific portion of the electromagnetic wavelengths.
There will be a public comment period and the job of the commissioners will be devising final rules and regulations – this process could take more than a year. However, all five of the FCC commissioners suggest that the new and unlicensed spectrum would be available with all possible speed.