back to article FCC wants to know if carriers can grab some of YOUR WiFi signal

The United States' Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking over a key item on the telco industry's wish-list: spectrum sharing to try and cope with a capacity crunch. While its consultation paper, here, focuses on “LTE-U” (LTE-Unlicensed), current developments will probably also be relevant to the looming 5G …

  1. Fazal Majid

    Despicable telcos following the Tragedy of the Commons playbook

    This is nothing less than an attempt to pad their bottom line by reducing the amount of expensive spectrum they need to license by encroaching on the commons, while at the same time degrading quality of service for WiFi, which is in some measure a substitute for their services.

    The Israeli government considered banning carrier WiFi offload for this very reason, and this sleazy land-grab should be rebuffed as well:

  2. Spaceman Spiff


    Over my dead and moldy body! I don't suppose they would pay ME for this "privilege"?

  3. icesenshi

    So is there any way to out of this? Like buying routers without it? Or will it be 'required' to be compatible with the new standard (whatever comes after ac).

    1. MrDamage

      Legal Implications

      Say the ISPs do enable this by default, and don't spell it out very clearly what is happening. Next thing you know, you get a nasty letter from Dallas Buyers Club LLC because someone hopping onto your wifi has decided to perform nefarious deeds which siphon money right out from the grubby pockets of "content creators".

      Will the ISP's foot the legal bill, not only for the defence, but also for the research into the correct IP address of the person who performed the deed?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Legal Implications

        I thought the technology was to share WiFi spectrum not your WiFi connection, a bit like the white space for TV spectrum.

        I don't agree with the sharing though.

        Then again it is early in the morning before coffee, I perhaps understand incorrectly.

  4. Paul

    If there's a capacity problem with USA cellular systems, then surely the answer is that they deploy more cells, each cell covering a smaller area. In a simplistic way, isn't that the whole point of GSM, UMTS and LTE cells?

  5. Old Handle
    Paris Hilton

    Wait, what?

    If it's unlicensed, why does T-Mobile need to ask the FCC for permission? Or are they wanting to broadcast at a higher power than would be allowed for unlicensed use or something? If so that doesn't seem like a real good idea.

  6. martinusher Silver badge

    Its not as if WiFi gets a decent slice of spectrum

    WiFi is crammed into what used to be called the ISM band -- a useless slice of microwave spectrum that was open to everyone because nobody wanted it. (....because its absorbed by water, its tricky to get the radios to work). Its only a little slice of spectrum so if anything we need to open this band up, give us all some more room. There is actually plenty of spectrum out there; the problem is hoarding and speculation.

    My guess is that the telcos want to degrade this band; they won't stop it working, just keep it at a Bluetooth sort of level (...and even that might be too much for them).

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