In an unanimous vote, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a proposal on Thursday that opens the 6GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi use. Doing so frees up more than 1,200MHz of additional bandwidth for next-gen Wi-Fi 6E devices with antennas and chipsets capable of tapping into the extra spectrum.
The FCC has adopted new rules for the 6 GHz band, unleashing 1,200 megahertz to boost #WiFi and other unlicensed uses to usher in faster, more efficient broadband connections for the American people. #OpenMtgFCC #FCCLive
— The FCC (@FCC) April 23, 2020
“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,” reads the FCC’s announcement of the plan to vote. “By doing this, we would effectively increase the amount of spectrum available for Wi-Fi almost by a factor of five.”
With more than twice as much bandwidth as the 5GHz band used by Wi-Fi devices today, the 6GHz band can accommodate up to seven 160MHz channels at once. Latency stands to be a lot lower on the 6GHz band too, because there aren’t any existing, older-gen Wi-Fi devices operating in that spectrum to slow things down. That gives the 6GHz band the potential to serve as an exclusive, multilane expressway for Wi-Fi devices equipped to take advantage, all of them using Wi-Fi 6, the newest, fastest and most efficient version of Wi-Fi.
MacDailyNews Take: This is a major move that paves the way for breakthrough devices like Apple Glasses!
In a statement relayed by CNET, Apple said, “We applaud the FCC’s decision to open up the 6GHz band for Wi-Fi and other uses. It sets the course for the next generation of Wi-Fi networks and will help us to create innovative, new product experiences for our customers.”