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25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
A series of posts describing how this all came about. (Click on picture above)

Friday, September 28, 2007

"The Next Wireless Wave
is a
Millimeter Wave"

I recently picked up a copy of the August 2007 issue of Microwave Journal and was pleased to see it is the special "Satellite and mm-wave Applications" issue with a lead article with the above title.

This, in part, inspired me to add a new page to my website about millimeter wave (mmW) technology and my role in its regulatory history. It also includes several helpful links for those who want to explore these upper frequencies.

The upper practical frequency for commercial use has historically kept moving as new technology moved higher in frequency. Unfortunately, many spectrum management concepts are based on assumptions that made sense when frequencies we all much lower. (For example, the specific definition of "harmful interference".)

Expanding the upper limit of US spectrum for commercial use in the US was a result of an FCC initiative. It did not restrict what people were already allowed to do and it did not impose detailed regulation on new technology. But by lowering entry barriers (e.g. no need for a multiyear rulemaking petition to FCC) it did stimulate capital formation in radio technology and product innovation. It is unfortunate that the current Commission is not looking for similar opportunities. Perhaps the Technological Advisory Committee could help in this area, but only if it is allowed to meet.

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