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FCC aims to boost Wi-Fi performance for business travelers

Have you ever been plagued by slow speeds or weak signals when you log onto a Wi-Fi network during your business trips? The Federal Communications Commission said last week it has a plan to resolve some of those problems.

Speaking at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the agency will soon begin a government-wide Wi-Fi improvement effort that should boost speeds and eliminate online congestion at places that have heavy concentrations of users—such as airports, convention centers and large conferences.

According to the FCC, the new program will “increase and free up the unlicensed spectrum available for ultra-high-speed, high-capacity Wi-Fi—known as ‘Gigabit Wi-Fi’—by up to 35 percent. This effort will enable higher data speeds and greater capacity—most notably, improved HD video distribution capability.”

The agency said it will begin taking steps in February to free up as much as 195 megaherz of spectrum in the 5 gigaherz band. “This would be the largest block of unlicensed spectrum to be made available for expansion of Wi-Fi service since 2003,” the FCC noted.

Besides improving Wi-Fi performance at congested hubs like those mentioned above, the FCC said its action should also boost Wi-Fi reception in residences as more home users adopt additional devices like tablets and smartphones.

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