The Federal Communications Commission passed a proposal to expand WiFi to 6GHz band for unlicensed use.
“To accommodate that increase in Wi-Fi demand, the FCC is aiming to increase the supply of Wi-Fi spectrum with our boldest initiative yet: making the entire 6GHz band available for unlicensed use,” the FCC announced, per CNET. “By doing this, we would effectively increase the amount of spectrum available for Wi-Fi almost by a factor of five.”
Routers and other devices will have access to more open airwaves to broadcast WiFi signals. That means when the new spectrum launches later this year, the next generation of devices will have more dependable connections and less interference from other gadgets.
According to The Verge, the introduction of the 6GHz band is the largest expansion since WiFi became available in 1989. Devices will be compatible with the new spectrum by the end of 2020. When in use, it will be labeled with the name “WiFi 6E.” WiFi currently works over two bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. While 2.4GHz travels farther and 5GHz delivers data at a faster rate, 6GHz will make quadruple the number of airwaves available.
The FCC’s decision will not only benefit consumers but can also boost the U.S. economy, with a report indicating that the broader WiFi signals can generate over $180 million in revenue by 2025.