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Bill Would Require Using Wireless To Provide Broadband

Bill would require FCC to make more of the broadcast spectrum available for use by devices that incorporate Wi-Fi technology.
A bill to be introduced in the next Congress will require expanding access to wireless technologies as a means of providing broadband Internet access.

The bill, to be introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and George Allen, R-Va., would require the Federal Communications Commission to make more broadcast spectrum available for use by devices that incorporate new technology such as 802.11b, also known as Wi-Fi.

Those devices are now limited to a small portion of the spectrum. The bill also requires the FCC to develop guidelines for the expanded portion of the spectrum, to avoid signal congestion and interference.

While Wi-Fi's current range is limited to about 300 feet, emerging technology promises to extend that range beyond one mile, and other wireless technologies have much longer range.