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Today, Members of Congress introduced bipartisan, bicameral spectrum legislation that seeks to expand the availability of unlicensed spectrum. Senators Marco Rubio (R- FL) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced the Wi-Fi Innovation Act, while Representatives Robert Latta (R-OH), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Doris Matsui (D-CA) introduced companion legislation in the House.
The Wi-Fi Innovation Act directs the Federal Communications Commission to investigate ways to open the 5GHz band to unlicensed use and recognizes the need to balance the importance of developing Intelligent Transportation and incumbent licenses in the 5GHz band. The legislation also seeks to increase innovation and economic progress by establishing a study to examine Wi-Fi deployment in low-income communities.
The following can be attributed to Martyn Griffen, Government Affairs Associate of Public Knowledge:
“The Wi-Fi Innovation Act legislation provides an excellent example of how bipartisan legislation on spectrum issues can work. Public Knowledge supported the Rubio-Booker language when it was introduced in the 113 Congress and we are pleased to see it reintroduced in the 114 Congress. This bill provides a road map for agencies that respects both the need for wireless capacity for safer smart cars and the need for more open spectrum for the Internet of Things.
“Furthermore, we are pleased that this legislation addresses broadband access in underserved areas by establishing an FCC study to examine Wi-Fi deployment in low-income communities and the barriers preventing deployment of wireless networks in low-income neighborhoods. As Americans become increasingly more connected through mobile devices and the Internet of Things, our wireless spectrum demands increase.
“We applaud Senator Booker, Senator Rubio, Congresswoman Eshoo and other co-sponsors for taking steps toward addressing this growing concern, while working to expand internet access to those in underserved areas.”