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FCC Announces Plan To Help Conference Wi-Fi Actually Work

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The government wants to help ensure that conference Internet Wi-Fi actually works. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a new plan to open up a portion of the wireless spectrum for faster and more reliable Wi-Fi devices. Specifically, the FCC will work to open up the unlicensed slice of 5 Mhz spectrum to make way for gigabit Internet devices, “to relieve Wi-Fi congestion at conferences, at airports, and in people’s homes,” said Genachowski on stage at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

This solution could not come quickly enough. At one of the premier tech gatherings on the planet, CES, the Internet is barely usable. All three ways I connect to the Internet – iPhone tethering, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and hotel Wi-Fi – have slowed to a crawl.

A spokesman for the FCC did not give a timeline for the implementation of the new rule, but says that it must coordinate with other federal and military agencies that use overlapping portions of the spectrum. “We are convinced that the spectrum can be shared,” concluded Genachowski.

Wi-Fi has also been hailed as an important solution to general smartphone Internet speed problems since it allows users to offload data downloads to their home Wi-Fi, rather than congested cellphone networks.

I’m about to pull my hair out waiting for webpages to load here at CES, so let’s all pray we can find a solution soon. Otherwise, my posts may contain a lot more expletives.