The FCC adopted new rules making 100 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band more accessible for Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices.
U-NII devices play an important role in meeting public demand for wireless broadband service.
Currently U-NII devices operate in 555 megahertz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band, and are used for Wi-Fi and other high-speed wireless connections.
The new rules remove the current restriction on indoor-only use and increase the permissible power which will provide more robust access in the 5.150-5.250 GHz band.
The FCC said the new ruleswill allow U-NII devices to better integrate with other unlicensed portions of the 5 GHz band to offer faster speeds and reduce congestion at crowded Wi-Fi hot spots such as airports and convention centers.
The Commission also modified certain technical rules to improve protection for incumbent systems by requiring manufacturers to secure their devices against illegal modification which could cause
interference to incumbent users in the band.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote: "This is a big win for consumers who will be able to enjoy faster connections and less congestion, as more spectrum will be available to handle Wi-Fi traffic. It will make it easier to get online wirelessly in public places like airports and convention centers, as well as in your living room. This is also a big win for American innovators. The changes we are making will provide fertile ground for the growth of “Gigabit Wi-Fi” – the latest generation of ultra-high-speed, high-capacity Wi-Fi that can provide data speeds in excess of 1 Gigabit per second."