"Super Wi-Fi" Gets Green Light, Could Change Wi-Fi as We Know It

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    A unanimous vote by the FCC (5 to 0) means that companies will get to start taking advantage of the unlicensed "white space" out there, or the unused airwaves between television channels that would be perfect for carrying wireless data.

    There will be some rules imposed, of course, but really they're the barest possible. The FCC just wants to make sure that current television and radio broadcasts won't be interfered with when every company imaginable jumps into the white space pool and starts making some big waves.

    In time, this could be a monumental development. While white space doesn't have the range of, say, a national wireless carrier as it's a local thing, the freed spectrum allows for data to flow faster and to penetrate walls more easily than the wireless we currently employ. For example, it could open up a whole new space for cellphones to evolve into purely Wi-Fi devices — just like the FaceTime call the iPhone makes — freeing up our reliance on expensive cellular data plans.

    FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was pretty stoked: "This new unlicensed spectrum will be a powerful platform for innovation as we've seen time and time again when we unleash American ingenuity, great things happen."

    Reuters, via TechCrunch

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