FCC suggests freeing up more bandwidth for in-flight WiFi

May 9, 2013 at 5:46 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Federal Communication Commission says more spectrum bandwidth should be freed up for in-flight WiFi.

The commission voted unanimously Thursday to take public comment on a proposal to auction off 500MHz worth of wireless spectrum for in-flight WiFi, which could add both capacity and speed of the service, CNET reported.

The proposal would add that 500MHZ to the present 4MHz of wireless spectrum that enables some airlines to offer in-flight broadband.

Such a massive increase in bandwidth would allow airline passengers to stream high-definition movies and other entertainment, answer email and surf websites.

The FCC proposal hasn't met with universal approval, though.

The new bandwidth would be in the 14-14.5Ghz band used for transmitting a variety of satellite services and some current license holders have expressed concern in-flight WiFi might interfere with existing services.

The proposal to free up additional spectrum is part of an ongoing effort to meet an ever-increasing demand for wireless spectrum for mobile broadband use, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said.

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