FCC Commissioner Wants More Spectrum for WiFi
FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel today said the government needs to do a better job of allocating spectrum for unlicensed access, such as WiFi. Rosenworcel, speaking at the State of the Net Conference, emphasized the importance of WiFi and the role it plays in the economy. For example, she noted more than half of Americans have used public hotspots and more than 60% of Americans use WiFi at home. Rosenworcel outlined three steps in order to make sure the availability of WiFi continues to grow with demand. First, she wants the FCC to commit to freeing up more spectrum for WiFi, such as the white space spectrum in the 600MHz band. Second, she wants the government to change the way it accounts for spectrum, assigning more value to spectrum set aside for unlicensed access. Third, she made clear that the FCC will not tolerate willful interference with WiFi. Last year, several hotels asked the FCC to allow them to "manage" guest access to personal hotspots in the name of security. Rosenworcel wants the hotels' petition denied. "Let's not let this petition linger or create any uncertainty. I hope my colleagues at the FCC will work with me to dismiss this petition without delay," argued Rosenworcel. She concluded by saying, "I believe the future of wireless connectivity will be stronger if we make room for more WiFi."
AT&T iPhone Owners Can Now Use WiFi Calling
AT&T today enabled WiFi calling on the iPhone. iPhone owners who've updated to iOS 9 can make and receive voice calls via WiFi rather than cellular networks.
Trump Asks Jessica Rosenworcel to Return to FCC
President Donald Trump today nominated former FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to retake her seat with the agency. Rosenworcel served on the commission for several years under the Obama Administration.
T-Mobile Rolling Out LTE-U
T-Mobile today said it is beginning to upgrade its 4G network with LTE-U this spring. LTE-U allows LTE to operate on the unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz band, which is typically reserved for WiFi.
C Spire Boosts WiFi Hotspot Access for iPhones
C Spire Wireless today expanded its WiFi On service to iOS devices, allowing its iPhone customers to more easily connect to some 20 million WiFi hotspots around the country. The WiFi On app is already available to Android handsets.
FCC Fines Smart City for Blocking Conventioneers' WiFi
The FCC today levied a $750,000 fine against Smart City for preventing consumers from setting up and operating their own WiFi hotspots in several convention centers around the country. Smart City runs the WiFi services at select conference facilities and charges exhibitors and attendees $80 per day to connect to the internet.