Unlicensed Wireless Networks Gain Spectrum

The FCC allocated new frequencies for unlicensed use yesterday, hoping the 255 new channels would encourage wireless broadband services in rural areas. The problem is that the frequencies are in the 5GHz range, which has relatively poor propagation characteristics, and poor penetration compared with TV or cellular. This usually means rooftop antennas would be required, and ranges will be 5 miles or less. The linked story does not mention whether the new frequencies are contiguous with the 802.11a channels at 5.4 GHz or not.

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