WiFi gets more room thanks to new rules

Is your WiFi network bogging down thanks to all the other WiFi networks around you? Well, a solution may be in sight.

The Federal Communications Commission on Monday approved rules that will double the amount of bandwidth available for certain WiFi networks. The move should help lessen congestion, which should mean faster downloads, smoother streaming and easier connections.

The new rules apply to spectrum in the 5-gigahertz band. That’s the band that’s used in many newer WiFi systems, such as those designated 802.11n and 802.11ac. To date, WiFi networks operating in this band had about 100 megahertz of spectrum to play with. Now they’ll have an additional 100 megahertz.

And the FCC is working on providing more bandwidth for WiFi networks. In a statement, agency Chairman Tom Wheeler said FCC is looking at making another 195 megahertz of spectrum available in the 5-gigahertz band and is also looking at providing some space in the 3.5-gigahertz band, which would be a new area for WiFi.

Photo of Linksys’ WRT1900AC router courtesy of the company.

Troy Wolverton Troy Wolverton (274 Posts)

Troy writes the Tech Files column as the Personal Technology Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. He also covers the digital media, mobile and video game industries and writes occasionally about Apple, chips, social networking and other aspects of technology. Previously, Troy covered Apple and the consumer electronics industry. Prior to joining the Mercury News, Troy reported on technology, business and financial issues for TheStreet.com and CNET News.com.