WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Defense and technology companies reached a compromise on the future of wireless networking, known as Wi-Fi, to prevent interference with military radar. Under the agreement, tech firms will build into future devices capabilities to detect and actively avoid interfering with military radars that operate on similar frequencies.
Under the compromise, the military will endorse proposals to nearly double the amount of wireless frequencies, which will permit more Internet traffic. Wi-Fi has emerged has as an attractive technology for providing public access to the Internet in public areas. A number of cities have been sponsoring and supporting Wi-Fi hotspots in their communities.
In January, the Federal Communications Commission raised the idea of opening up unlicensed parts of the broadcast television spectrum for use by Wi-Fi devices. The Department of Defense was concerned that the proliferation of Wi-Fi products and networks could interfere with the military's use of radar because some regions of the spectrum in which Wi-Fi and radar operate overlap.