Today marks a milestone in the evolution of Wi-Fi technology. Thanks to Chairman Pai’s proposal, the FCC plans to make an additional 1,200 megahertz of spectrum available for unlicensed use. This represents the first spectrum allocation for Wi-Fi since 2003 and it couldn’t have come at a more critical time.
Wi-Fi is already the most important wireless technology by volume of data and, in these uncertain times, we are relying on our devices and the Wi-Fi that connects them more than ever.
The wide channels in the 6GHz band will allow consumers and businesses to take full advantage of the next generation of wireless technology. Wi-Fi in the 6GHz band will enable better video for virtual learning. It means more connected devices in telemedicine. It means a more productive and agile remote workforce. And it means an unlimited amount of innovation to come.
Today, we’ve innovated through six generations of technology to produce Wi-Fi6, and the seventh generation is already beginning to move through standards processes. With every step, we’ve kept Wi-Fi technology abreast of new developments in cable and fiber networks, as well as the mobile “Gs”.
As Chairman Pai pointed out today, “Americans’ everyday use of devices that connect to the Internet over unlicensed spectrum has exploded. That trend will only continue. Cisco projects that nearly 60% of global mobile data traffic will be off-loaded to Wi-Fi by 2022.”
That’s right. The Internet of Things, augmented and virtual reality, and the increasing use of video will make the world more connected than ever before. We are on the cusp of an unprecedented increase in devices and Wi-Fi is the technology that will power them.
Chairman Pai and the FCC are bridging the digital divide across America during this turbulent time. As our homes have been transformed into remote offices and virtual learning centers, and as telehealth becomes more vital than ever, we know that Wi-Fi is a critical part of that bridge.
As our Chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins said:
“All of us at Cisco congratulate FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for his leadership in moving forward with a 6 GHz spectrum plan that will be the backbone of American jobs and the economy. Across the country, Wi-Fi networks on unlicensed spectrum are supporting first responders, hospitals, telehealth, remote learning, and remote work at unprecedented levels. Chairman Pai’s decision to unleash the full potential of Wi-Fi alongside 5G could not come at a more important time. We’re excited to help build an internet for the future and look forward to the FCC’s vote.”
This is a pivotal moment for the future of Wi-Fi. We appreciate the thoughtfulness of the FCC and look forward to their decision.
New, higher-frequency spectrum is always welcome, but we need to focus on the utility of Wifi beyond just performance and scale. Where can we take Open Roaming? Can we use this newly open door to invigorate wide-spread industry participation in Open Roaming? Let’s make wifi easier to use – not just a better radio.
I’ve written a blog that hopefully is of interest:
Wi-Fi 6 and 5G are crucial for development technology of tomorrow. I watch with interest the further progress of the case.
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