FCC may set aside free wireless spectrum for Internet broadband

FCC may look at some wireless spectrum being set aside for at little or no cost for anyone's use.
Written by Doug Hanchard, Contributor

Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn during a speech at the Digital Inclusion Summit suggested that the FCC may look at some wireless spectrum being set aside for at little or no cost for anyone's use.

The staff has come up with a number of recommendations with these goals in mind. To help with cost, the Plan recommends expanding low income Universal Service support to broadband, and exploring using spectrum for a free or very low cost wireless service. Partnerships between the public, private, non-profit and philanthropic sectors can help address the relevance barrier by encouraging comprehensive solutions that combine hardware, service, training and content, and by conducting outreach and awareness campaigns that target underserved communities. Continuing federal support for state and local broadband initiatives is also essential.

Current spectrum licenses are auctioned to carriers and service providers. Industry, scientific and medical frequencies are not licensed. The following frequencies in this category are listed below and are generally accepted worldwide with some exceptions. The International Telecommunications Union - Radio (ITU-R) ratified these frequencies over the past 10 years. Most of you use devices that are enabled using 2.4 and 5.4 GHz in WIFI and WIMAX technologies.

The ISM bands defined by the ITU-R are:

Frequency range [Hz]

Center frequency [Hz]


6.765-6.795 MHz 6.780 MHz Subject to local acceptance
13.553-13.567 MHz 13.560 MHz
26.957-27.283 MHz 27.120 MHz
40.66-40.70 MHz 40.68 MHz
433.05-434.79 MHz 433.92 MHz
902-928 MHz 915 MHz Region 2 only
2.400-2.500 GHz 2.450 GHz
5.725-5.875 GHz 5.800 GHz
24-24.25 GHz 24.125 GHz
61-61.5 GHz 61.25 GHz Subject to local acceptance
122-123 GHz 122.5 GHz Subject to local acceptance
244-246 GHz 245 GHz Subject to local acceptance
Additional Resources:

FCC's National Broadband Plan: Net Neutrality, R.I.P.

FCC releases 'Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan'

FCC, Comcast, others testify before Congress: NBC Universal-Comcast merger

Net Neutrality: Why the Internet will never be free. For anything. So get used to it

AT&T to FCC: Open to Net Neutrality ideas - with conditions

Net Neutrality: You own the Internet - make sure it becomes Law

Internet: A threat to government or the other way around?

Electronic Frontier Foundation links net neutrality to copyright

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