The federal government appears to be moving the country toward a “super Wi-Fi” system. In a document dated Dec. 12, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed opening 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band now being used by the Department of Defense. The spectrum would be used for commercial broadband service, and according to a NextGov report, the FCC has indicated that military radar operating in that band would not be interrupted.
The proposal follows a recommendation by the president's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology made last July for the creation of a nationwide “super Wi-Fi” system. The 100 MHz of freed spectrum would be organized into three tiers, according to the FCC proposal. The first tier of service would provide protection from interference to specified federal users, many of them military, as well as grandfathered fixed satellite systems. Tier two would include public safety agencies and hospitals. The third tier would be used for general public communication.
“Small cells are key elements of next-generation mobile networks, providing additional coverage in underserved areas and additional capacity where macro networks are overburdened, and improving the user experience for consumers and businesses," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. "Providing a dedicated band for small cell use will encourage further innovation and investment in this technology and facilitate the development of new business models, advancing our economy and benefitting consumers.”