Because every American
should have access
to broadband Internet.

The Internet Innovation Alliance is a broad-based coalition of business and non-profit organizations that aim to ensure every American, regardless of race, income or geography, has access to the critical tool that is broadband Internet. The IIA seeks to promote public policies that support equal opportunity for universal broadband availability and adoption so that everyone, everywhere can seize the benefits of the Internet - from education to health care, employment to community building, civic engagement and beyond.

The Podium

Wednesday, February 20

On the FCC Decision to Make More Spectrum Available for Unlicensed Devices in the 5 GHz Band


We applaud the FCC’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks to explore the possible future release of frequencies in the 5 MHz band for Wi-Fi.

As more Americans continue to depend on the anytime, anywhere advantages of mobile technology — the nation faces new opportunities and challenges in making next-generation services more widely accessible to the public. Explosive growth in wireless broadband services continues as consumers’ demand for the latest mobile devices, services and applications increases the need for additional spectrum in the wireless market. Government must take a multi-pronged approach to alleviate the imminent spectrum crunch to advance the benefits of wireless broadband for all Americans.

Allocating the 5 GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi devices makes sense, given that it provides limited geographic coverage to avoid radio frequency interference. Consumers stand to benefit from this unlicensed spectrum through increased speeds and decreased congestion at a variety of locations including airports, Internet cafes and community anchor institutions across the nation.

Beyond this proceeding, the FCC should move quickly to launch its incentive auction to unlock additional spectrum for high-speed wireless broadband for both licensed and unlicensed spectrum use to maximize the benefits for America’s businesses and consumers.

Tags: fcc, spectrum, iia, wifi