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Lawmakers Revive WiFi Innovation Act

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Feb 10, 2015, 3:03 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Senators Marco Rubio and Cory Booker today reintroduced the WiFi Innovation Act with the goal of opening up more access to spectrum in the 5GHz band. The act was first introduced in June 2014. Two congressmen and three congresswomen brought similar legislation before the U.S. House of Representatives today, too. "America's policies must adapt to the colossal technological advancements that are defining the 21st century and transforming the very nature of the American economy," said Rubio in a statement. "The WiFi Innovation Act would bolster innovation, spur economic development, and increase connectivity by providing more spectrum to the public." FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel recently made a similar pitch to her fellow commissioners. The WiFi Innovation Act was left on the table last year and there's no word if the Senate or House of Representatives will get to it during the current legislative session. Spectrum is a finite resource. The FCC is responsible for auctioning off licenses to access spectrum, but WiFi relies on unlicensed spectrum for access. The government has committed to opening up more unlicensed spectrum, but has so far moved forward slowly.

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