House Panel Reslates Hearing on 5-GHz Band

WASHINGTON — The House Communications Subcommittee has set Nov. 13 for a rescheduled hearing on the 5-Gigahertz band, considered one of cable’s sweet spots for Wi-Fi hot spots. Comcast is scheduled to testify.

The hearing had been scheduled for Oct. 1, but was pushed back due to the government shutdown.

The FCC voted unanimously in February to free up 195 MHz of additional spectrum in the 5 GHz band for Wi-Fi.

Cable operators already use the 5-GHZ band to provide over 100,000 hot spots, a fact the National Cable & Telecommunications Association pointed out in praising the vote.

The FCC must find a way to free up the spectrum for unlicensed Wi-Fi use while not interfering with military, Federal Aviation Adminstration and automotive collision- avoidance systems operating in the band. That last matter has pitted cable operators against automakers.

The FCC has been under pressure from Congress to try and open up more unlicensed Wi-Fi spectrum in the 5 GHz band.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.