Wi-Fi Innovation Act aims to free up 5850-5925 MHz for Wi-Fi

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) unveiled the Wi-Fi Innovation Act, which directs the FCC to pick up the pace in assessing the feasibility of opening the 5850-5925 MHz band to unlicensed use, while enabling future Intelligent Transportation Service technologies and incumbent licensees to access the band. Wi-Fi use would be allowed in the band as long as it does not interfere with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications. However, automakers are concerned that opening the frequencies to broad, unlicensed use could negatively impact ITS, V2V links and crash-avoidance systems that are already being developed for the spectrum.

Broadcasting & Cable noted the new bill, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), is part of Rubio's bold agenda for spectrum reform. He has also introduced a bill to promote the deployment of wireless instruction and the Wireless Innovation Act, which seeks to free up government spectrum. In February 2013, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to open up 195 MHz of additional spectrum in the heavily encumbered 5350-5470 MHz (120 MHz) and 5850-5925 (75 MHz) MHz bands, with the use of spectrum-sharing technologies envisioned as one way to make the spectrum available to private as well as federal entities. For more, see this Broadcasting & Cable article.