The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new rules to make a portion of spectrum in the 6 GHz band available for unlicensed use.
The 6 GHz band is currently being used for microwave services that support utilities, public safety and wireless backhaul operations. Under the terms of the Commission’s Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in late April, 1200 megahertz of spectrum in the band will be allocated for use in indoor low-power operations, while an additional 850 megahertz will be allocated for use by standard-power devices.
The FCC says that the new rules will help to facilitate the deployment of Wi-Fi 6, the next generation of Wi-Fi communications technology, which is reportedly more than two and a half times faster than current Wi-Fi technologies. The rules will also increase the amount of spectrum available for Wi-Fi communications by a factor of five, thereby helping to improve connectivity throughout the country.
The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also seeks comment on a proposal to allow very low-power devices operating within the 6 GHz band to support high data rate applications, such as virtual- and augmented-reality devices.