We applaud Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) for introducing S. 2505, the bipartisan Wi-Fi Innovation Act. Americans increasingly depend on smartphones and portable devices that rely on spectrum for connectivity and ITI has long held the view that we must make efficient use of all spectrum to meet our nation’s growing demand. The 5 GHz band provides tremendous opportunity to expand unlicensed Wi-Fi use and features, building on the uses tens of millions of Americans already benefit from to connect in their homes, at work, and in public spaces across the country.
Spectrum is an extremely limited and valuable resource that will open the door to transformational services and innovations many of us can only imagine, including ultra-fast Wi-Fi and connected vehicles. Pursuant to congressional legislation, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed that connected vehicles and next generation Wi-Fi share the upper 5 GHz band. Connected vehicles have the potential to provide additional safety features for vehicle operators and passengers when they move beyond the pilot phase. ITI and our member companies believe safety is paramount. Given the limited opportunities to make additional spectrum available for commercial use, however, having the FCC facilitate technical and engineering analysis to determine how unlicensed Wi-Fi use can coexist with connected vehicle technology – without jeopardizing safety – is the optimal path forward. With the significant technical expertise and input from many of our member companies, ITI is optimistic that successful sharing is feasible in the upper 5 GHz band, and we look forward to advancing the technical process.
This bill by Sens. Rubio and Booker envisions and codifies that analysis driven approach to ensure this vital resource is fully utilized. We commend them for introducing this bill, and look forward to working with them to achieve the most beneficial outcome for the American public and our economy.