Sharing Spectrum for Gigabit Wi-Fi
Everything you wanted to know about 5.9 GHz, Wi-Fi and DSRC
Fifteen years ago, the auto industry was allocated spectrum with the goal of developing technology to enhance safety known as, Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC). And, yet, the band has and continues to lay fallow. As often happens, new technologies have been created to prevent auto accidents and make our cars safer. And at the same time, consumer use of spectrum for Wi-Fi has exploded. There is a proposal at the FCC to share the spectrum allocated for DSRC at 5.9 GHz that would be a win-win: both Wi-Fi and DSRC can design their wireless operations with sharing built in from the beginning, meaning additional safety applications for vehicles as well as better Wi-Fi for consumers.
Sharing this spectrum with technologies like Wi-Fi is an issue with broad bipartisan support at the FCC and on the Hill. And Leading technology companies, public interest groups and consumer groups -- many of whom do not agree on much -- agree.
By opening up the 5.9 GHz band, the FCC has the opportunity to better meet demand for wireless connectivity. Expansion into the 5.9 GHz band complements unlicensed usage in adjacent bands, creating wider channels. The benefits of wider channels are improved hotspot coverage, longer battery useage, the ability to connect more devices and faster speeds, a la Wi-Fi’s latest standard, 802.11ac.