Wi-Fi expansion would add nearly 90K jobs, boost GDP by $11B, report says

The FCC's proposal to add 22 MHz to support Wi-Fi would provide a significant economic boost for consumers, generating $11 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) per year and creating nearly 90,000 jobs, according to the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research (ACI).

The FCC has proposed allowing Globalstar to use its 2.4 GHz spectrum to expand Wi-Fi capacity in the United States. ACI supports that proposal.

The organization notes that the White House's Council of Economic Advisers has predicted that U.S. wireless data traffic will increase 20 times over the next five years, and the FCC has estimated that 275 MHz of new spectrum would be needed by year's end. As broadband networks approach capacity, warnings about a spectrum crunch abound.

"Wi-Fi is reaching its limits too," ACI said. Although 2.4 GHz unlicensed spectrum is being used efficiently, it has become saturated during certain times of the day in heavily trafficked areas, such as city centers, apartment buildings and public venues, the group noted, citing various company filings with the FCC.

With Wi-Fi service traffic expected to eclipse wireline traffic in less than four years, there is an urgency to get additional spectrum onboard.

In November 2012, Globalstar petitioned the FCC to modify rules that would enable the company to use its 2.4 GHz spectrum in some areas to support Wi-Fi services. After seeking comments, the FCC proposed changes that would allow Globalstar to offer the new service.

If adopted, the FCC's proposal would increase 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi capacity in the U.S. by one-third and allow the satellite operator to deploy network access equipment, thereby permitting a more efficient use of the band and alleviating Wi-Fi congestion, according to ACI.

The FCC proposal also would enable the deployment of 20,000 access points to schools, colleges and hospitals, as well as providing free satellite service to customers in federally declared disaster areas.

For more:
- see this ACI ConsumerGram

Related articles:
Globalstar's private Wi-Fi plan may win FCC approval this year
Globalstar's Sat-Fi to deliver satellite coverage to Wi-Fi enabled devices
Globalstar says proposed TLPS rules are even better than expected