The FCC this week announced that the agency will be taking steps to free up wireless spectrum to be used by newer technologies like 802.11ac (aka "Gigabit Wi-Fi). Speaking at CES, FCC boss Julius Genachowski stated that the agency will begin a significant effort to free 195 megahertz of spectrum in the 5 gigahertz band -- the largest block of unlicensed spectrum to be made available for expansion of Wi-Fi since 2003.
The lion's share of this spectrum is currently being borrowed by numerous government agencies the FCC will have to work hand in hand with. Genachowski, who may be leaving his post before too long, has been very busy trying to craft a legacy as the "man who saved wireless," though the reality is well, different. In this case, Genachowski insists he's acting to stop a "Wi-Fi traffic jam."
"When the FCC helped pioneer Wi-Fi nearly thirty years ago - through an innovative spectrum policy that relied on unlicensed use - no one knew the potential it held," said Genachowski in a statement. "But that FCC-created platform for innovation gave us cordless phones, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, benefitting consumers and our economy massively. We'll keep nurturing today's Wi-Fi as we also develop a next generation of spectrum policies to drive our mobile future for our innovators and our economy."
Granted adoption of 802.11ac probably isn't going to be all that significant initially. Even the engineers involved with the effort say the first incarnation isn't going to be worth buying. First-generation 802.11ac products will offer up to 1.3 Gbps via three spatial streams and 80-MHz-wide channels -- double the largest 40 MHz channel width currenly seen in 802.11n hardware.
The AT&T U-Verse gateways don't look around to see how congested the bands are and instead default. You have to manually change the channel. Luckily for me, none of my neighbours seem to have this figured this out, leaving me the opportunity to set my APs on different channels with less interference.
I have traditionally seen channel 6 as the most, and 1 as the best. And then there's a few idiots on like 4 and 7, making only 2 usable (although one time in a dorm with horrendous interference, I found something like 3 or 4 to be the only thing that was remotely usable, as it partially fit in between 1 and 6).
I hate this. I'm forced to use channel 9 because 1, 6, and 11 are completely saturated. One neighbour runs two access points on two separate channels with 40MHz bandwidth and another uses channel 4. My LAN speeds over Wireless N rarely go past 20mbps on most channels. I get 30mbps on channel 9.
Another AP popped up last week on channel 7. I think 802.11ac will be my saving grace. I keep putting more devices on my wired network every week.
No, no one ever said they were going to do away with OTA. This has nothing to do with that anyways. What they wanted to do with OTA is to get 120 MHz of the 222 MHz of OTA UHF spectrum and auction it off for mobile. They still plan to do that but they are now counting on getting at best 80 MHz and probably closer to 60 MHz. There still would be 42 MHz on hi-VHF like there is today.
As a user of the 5 GHZ spectrum in our market area there is nothing left here to use. Any new devices will do nothing but cause degradation of bandwidth and nothing but trouble to anyone attempting to deploy product.
We are already in competition with other major users and have been problems increasing final cost to the end user.
I'm betting the new spectrum will be so low power it won't go any distance and be so regulated to add more DFS requirements to devices making them absolutely not worth a damm.
All I'm saying is the FCC needs to make it right and do what is right instead of making spectrum useless.
2013-Jan-11 10:12 am: ·
alphapointe Don't Touch Me Premium,MVM join:2002-02-10 Columbia, MO kudos:2
Same deal here. Most people have newer dual-band WAP's and beat the shit out of both 2.4 and 5.8GHz. Doesn't bother my PtP UBNT link, as I'm a ham radio operator and run mine above 5900MHz where consumer unlicensed gear can't go.
Consumer grade wifi is almost useless in this building, and I have to keep telling tenants that there's nothing I can do about it. -- "When the hammer drops, the bullshit stops"