News

WifiForward Statement on FCC Approval of LTE-U Devices
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WifiForward Statement on Chairman Pai
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WifiForward Statement on LTE-U Coexistence Test Plan
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Pen America and Private Internet Access Join WifiFoward
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WifiForward Statement on the Promoting Unlicensed Spectrum Act Introduced Today by Senator Schatz
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Statement of WifiForward in response to House Commerce & Energy Subcommittee Hearing on “Improving Federal Spectrum Systems”
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R Street Joins Wifi Forward Coalition to Expand Wi-Fi Availability
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WifiForward Applauds Broadband Opportunity Council Report
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WifiForward Launches the Save Our Wi-Fi Campaign
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WifiForward Applauds Chairman Thune on 5 Ghz Band Spectrum Testing
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Statement of WifiForward in response to Chairman Wheeler’s comments at CTIA Supermobility 2015
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WifiForward Applauds FCC for Expanding Access to Unlicensed Devices in 600 MHz Band
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FCC Takes Wi-Fi Concerns Over LTE-U Seriously
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WiFiForward Applauds Senators on Letter to FCC Chairman
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Congressman Issa and Congresswoman Eshoo Champion TV White Spaces
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Booker, Rubio Urge Committee Leadership to Support Pursuit of Wireless Spectrum Sharing Solutions
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Tent Letter on Wi-Fi Innovation Act
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WifiForward applauds House E&C Committee Move to Review Progress on Unlicensed Spectrum
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Date: Tuesday, February 10 2015
WifiForward Statement on the Wi-Fi Innovation Act of 2015
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Date: Monday, January 26 2015
Public libraries top public Wi-Fi spot for African Americans, Latinos
Written By Larra Clark
New study shows public libraries as most common public Wi-Fi access spots for African Americans and Latinos.
Date: Tuesday, January 27 2015
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel’s remarks at the State of the Net Conference, January 27, 2015
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Remarks of Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC, State of the Net Conference, Washington, D.C.


Date: Monday, January 26 2015
NOBEL NEWS ALERT: The Color of Wi-Fi
Written By NOBEL Women
New study shows African Americans and Latinos use public Wi-Fi more than whites; Job searching and Entertain remain high reasons for use
HTTP COMMENDS WIFIFORWARD EXAMINING LATINOS IN NEW STUDY
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Date: Monday, June 9 2014
FCC — Leave Spectrum for Unlicensed Use
Written By ameron Camp
As a wireless Internet service provider (WISP) in a rural, sawmill region of Oregon, IV Data Center is the last frontier when it comes to serving areas other ISPs can’t or won’t serve. We help bridge the digital divide for the most underserved customers in the country.

Our company, also known as Illinois Valley Data Center, serves Josephine County in Oregon, which consistently ranks as the second poorest county in the state. The small lumber mill region has seen its industry decimated over the last several decades. As the mills moved out, small business moved in: Today our community has 17 times more home-based and e-commerce businesses than the national average.
FCC Chairman Wheeler Talks Unlicensed Before House Energy and Commerce Committee
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Date: Thursday, May 15 2014
Statement from WifiForward on FCC Incentive Auction Report and Order
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Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved an order that sets the stage for an incentive auction that can advance both licensed and unlicensed wireless broadband. The FCC has found a compromise that will allow it to auction large bands for licensed wireless services while still permitting innovations in unlicensed technologies in at least three channels in every community in the nation. By ensuring that American consumers, businesses, schools, libraries, anchor institutions and local governments will have access to these three unlicensed channels across the country, the FCC has laid the foundation for the investment and innovation needed to develop a new class of 600 MHz unlicensed technologies.

WifiForward congratulates the FCC on this substantial achievement. But far more work remains to turn the promise of the 600 MHz band into a reality.

The FCC announced that it would now issue a series of important rulemaking notices to set the critical technical rules for unlicensed technologies. We strongly support the FCC’s efforts so far and look forward to working together to ensure a robust wireless economy supported by the most efficient and effective allocation of spectrum, one of our nation’s most valuable public resources.
Date: Wednesday, May 7 2014
Rosenworcel: FCC Must Promote All Spectrum Bands for Unlicensed Uses
Written By Paul Barbagallo
The Federal Communications Commission must continue to craft policies that promote all spectrum bands—high, mid, and low—for unlicensed uses, Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said.

In remarks at an event sponsored by WifiForward, an industry group whose members include Google Inc. and Comcast Corp., Rosenworcel voiced strong support for what she described as an “unlicensed spectrum game plan”—new strategies that, in her view, “deserve attention up front, in policy prime time.”

“It should no longer be an afterthought in our spectrum policy,” she said.
Date: Tuesday, May 6 2014
Issa: Don’t sell off airwaves for short-term gains
Written By Julian Hattem
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said he is tired of selling off public airwaves only to fund a pork-barrel project or make a tiny dent in the deficit.
Selling off chunks of the spectrum to make a little short-term cash, he said on Tuesday, would be like selling off pieces of the Mississippi River or the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

“Public assets for the public good have never been before sold in the way that we deal with spectrum,” he said at a conference pushing for more unlicensed spectrum, which allows Wi-Fi systems and devices like garage door openers to operate.
Date: Tuesday, May 6 2014
FCC commissioner praises Wi-Fi ‘game plan’
Written By Julian Hattem
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to have developed a new “game plan” for the airwaves that allow Wi-Fi, and Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel thinks that’s a good thing.

“You can count me as excited, because what is taking shape now is finally, at long last, a real game plan for unlicensed spectrum,” she said at an event on the airwaves on Tuesday.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to Keynote Unlicensed Spectrum Summit
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May 2, 2104 (Washington, D.C.) - Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel will be a keynote speaker at WifiForward’s unlicensed spectrum summit May 6th, 2014. Rosenworcel will address the theme “Moving Wi-Fi Forward: the Road to a Better, Faster, Bigger Unlicensed Economy” along with academics, technologists, public interest advocates and business leaders including David Morken, CEO of Republic Wireless, a wireless service provider whose hybrid calling system uses Wi-Fi first and cellular networks second.
WifiForward Hosts Wireless Business, Technology and Industry Experts at May 6th Newseum Event
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Statement from WifiForward in Reaction to FCC Proposal on Spectrum Sharing in the 3.5 GHz Band
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Date: Tuesday, April 1 2014
WifiForward applauds FCC on move to unleash more spectrum for Wi-Fi
Written By WifiForward
Wi-Fi is about to get bigger, better, and faster. Today, the Federal Communications Commission made an important step toward improving the wireless economy by opening up 100 MHz of spectrum for outdoor unlicensed broadband uses such as Wi-Fi. We applaud the Chairman and Commissioners, as well as leadership throughout the agency, for taking this action today. We commend the Commission for crafting a thoughtful balance between the needs of incumbents and innovators to make sharing possible. The FCC's action will create a new environment for experimentation, new business models, and better Wi-Fi. The Commission's move today is an important achievement, and a good model for the work that the FCC and the technology community must do in other portions of the 5 GHz band and beyond to support the unlicensed economy.
Date: Tuesday, March 11 2014
The case for more Wi-Fi and unlicensed airwaves just got a lot stronger
Written By Kevin Fitchard
Obama and the FCC are both calling for more unlicensed spectrum to fuel the tech economy. That kind of advocacy from the administration is just what we need in a government opposed to free-to-use airwaves.
Date: Tuesday, March 4 2014
ROSENWORCEL PUSHES FOR UNLICENSED SPECTRUM
Written By Alex Brown, Laura Ryan, Dustin Volz and Brendan Sasso
In Monday's speech, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is expected to push for expanded unlicensed use of spectrum, including as part of the upcoming broadcast incentive auction and in the 5 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands. Unlicensed spectrum can be used by any company for free and powers technologies such as Wi-Fi.

"We should move beyond old dichotomies that pit licensed versus unlicensed spectrum," she will, say according to an advance copy of her remarks. "Because across the board we need to choose efficiency over inefficiency and speed over congestion. Because we can meet the growing demand for wireless services—or we will fall behind."
Date: Tuesday, March 4 2014
Rosenworcel pushes Wi-Fi
Written By Julian Hattem
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wants to make sure that Wi-Fi isn’t left behind in the race to grab up chunks of the country's airwaves. Unlike wireless phone service, Wi-Fi signals operate on unlicensed bands of the spectrum, but the space is becoming increasingly crowded, she wrote in an op-ed for re/code.
Date: Friday, March 7 2014
Fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi access point sales to speed up in 2014, grabbing 45% market share
Written By Kevin C. Tofel
If you’re not using the faster, next-generation of Wi-Fi at home or at work, odds are you will be this year.

Sales of 802.11ac Wi-Fi access points only accounted for 8 percent of the total market in 2013 but ABI Research says that figure should hit 45 percent by the end of this year. New 802.11ac routers offer faster wireless speeds and greater range than current access points thanks to wider bandwidth channels and support for wireless streams that can work together.
Date: Friday, March 7 2014
FCC’s Rosenworcel looks to 5 GHz band, 600 MHz guard bands for unlicensed wireless
Written By Phil Goldstein
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the FCC should seize a near-term opportunity to use more of the 5 GHz band for unlicensed wireless use, and also explore ways to make use of guard bands that will be produced in the 600 MHz spectrum auction for unlicensed purposes.

In a speech at the National Press Club in Washington for the WiFiForward coalition, Rosenworcel, one of three Democrats on the five-member FCC, extolled the virtues of unlicensed wireless. She said that recent economic studies that add up the broader impact of unlicensed spectrum on the economy estimate its annual value at more than $140 billion. "By any measure, that number is really, really big," she said.
Date: Friday, March 7 2014
Playing by the Rules: The Success of Unlicensed Spectrum
Written By Richard Thanki
For over a century, wireless services using licensed spectrum have profoundly shaped our lives. It’s difficult to imagine a world without the influence of radio, television, satellite links, and mobile telephony.

However, during the last 15 years, communication using the unlicensed bands of spectrum has witnessed an explosion in usage and utility that rivals, and in many ways eclipses, the licensed experience.
Date: Friday, March 7 2014
Rosenworcel: Unlicensed Vs. Licensed is False Choice
Written By John Eggerton
FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel Friday put in a plug for using the guard bands in repacked 600 MHz broadcast/wireless spectrum for unlicensed wireless, while focusing on a move she said could essentially double the unlicensed bandwidth in the 5 GHz band now used by cable ops for Wi-Fi.
She was preaching to the choir at the inaugural event of WifiForward, a coalition of cable operators and computer companies—the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and Google are both members—pushing the government to open up more spectrum for unlicensed uses like Wi-Fi, which has become the cable operator's mobile broadband play of choice. For example, Comcast said this week it is approaching 1 million Wi-Fi hot spots and will be adding hundreds of thousands more. Those include spots shared via an agreement among the Cable WiFi roaming consortium members, which also include Time Warner Cable and Cox.
Date: Thursday, February 27 2014
Members launch caucus on airwaves, spectrum
Written By By Kate Tummarello
As the Federal Communications Commission prepares for its 2015 airwaves buy-back and auction, a pair of House lawmakers has launched a new congressional caucus focused on spectrum.

The caucus, announced Thursday by Reps. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), will examine spectrum-related issues, including licensed spectrum — such as the kind used by federal agencies and wireless companies — and unlicensed spectrum, which powers Wi-Fi systems.
Date: Monday, February 24 2014
Chairman Wheeler’s Prepared Remarks at GSMA Mobile World Congress
Written By FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
Date: Friday, February 21 2014
Growing Unlicensed Spectrum, Growing the Wireless Economy
Written By By Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, FCC
Chances are you used wireless technology today. Maybe it was the shiny new tablet or smartphone you received as a gift over the holidays. Or maybe it was the old cordless phone you have had lying around the house for too many years to count. It also could have been one of those things you use every day without much thought, like your television remote control. So many devices and so much of our lives are now dependent on wireless connectivity.

It is no wonder, then, that the demand for our airwaves is growing at a fast clip. Indeed, the need for more licensed spectrum — the airwaves used by wireless carriers — has been widely recognized. But what is less well known is that congestion in our nation’s unlicensed spectrum, which is used for services like Wi-Fi, is also getting crowded.
Date: Saturday, February 15 2014
Google, Comcast Want to Make Sure You Have Fast Wi-Fi
Written By Stephanie Mlot - PC Magazine
More than a dozen tech and cable companies have joined forces for a coalition hoping to expand and improve Wi-Fi networks.
WifiForward boasts heavyweight partners like Google, Comcast, Microsoft, Charter Communications, and Time Warner Cable. Its goal: free up more spectrum to lessen the stress on networks currently bogged down by massive use.

Specifically, the coalition's mission statement describes WifiForward as "an ad hoc, broad-based group of companies, organizations and public sector institutions working to alleviate the Wi-Fi spectrum crunch and to support making Wi-Fi even better by finding more unlicensed spectrum."
Date: Friday, February 14 2014
Tech vendors and cable companies push for more Wi-Fi spectrum
Written By Jon Brodkin - Ars Technica
Google and Microsoft have teamed with Comcast and Time Warner Cable to advocate freeing up more unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi.

The group, WifiForward, says the government should "protect and strengthen existing unlicensed spectrum designations; free up new spectrum for unlicensed use at a variety of frequencies, including low, medium, and high frequency bands; and establish investment-friendly, transparent and predictable unlicensed rules that encourage growth and deployment."
Date: Thursday, February 13 2014
Microsoft, Google, Comcast, and other are partnering to expand Wi-Fi access
Written By Nathan Ingraham - The Verge
Some of the biggest cable and technology companies in the US are apparently putting together an unlikely partnership. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google and Microsoft are joining up with Charter, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable to launch a coalition to expand public Wi-Fi access. WifiForward, as the coalition is said to be named, would seek to lobby the government to free up more spectrum that could be used for Wi-Fi to free up networks that will undoubtably get more congested in the coming years. Despite the ubiquity of LTE-capable smartphones, Cisco says that 57 percent of mobile data traffic in the US is carried over Wi-Fi — and as data usage increases in coming years, Wi-Fi spectrums will get more and more crowded.
Date: Thursday, February 13 2014
WifiForward adds ballast to demand for unlicensed spectrum
Written By Tammy Parker - Fierce Wireless
Internet and communications heavyweights along with other supporters want more spectrum for Wi-Fi and they want it now.

The WifiForward coalition is calling for policymakers to open up more unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi and other uses, contending that Wi-Fi in general is at risk due to a deluge of wireless data traffic that is causing increasing spectrum congestion.
Date: Thursday, February 13 2014
WifiForward Coalition to Seek Increased Unlicensed Spectrum from FCC, Congress
Written By Jim Phillips
Comcast, Google, Microsoft, Time Warner Cable, the Consumer Electronics Association and other industry stakeholders said they formed WifiForward, a coalition to urge the FCC and Congress to increase the amount of unlicensed spectrum so it's available for Wi-Fi use. Wi-Fi use is growing 68 percent a year, meaning policymakers will need to open up additional spectrum for unlicensed use in order to avoid a crunch greater than the current congestion being caused “by a deluge of data from more devices, applications and services,” the coalition said Thursday. Analysts said the coalition is likely to have some effect on the policymaking debate around unlicensed spectrum, but immediate change is unlikely.

WifiForward said it's seeking protection of existing unlicensed spectrum along with new unli- censed designations, along with “investment-friendly, transparent and predictable” unlicensed rules. The coalition said it plans to focus its efforts primarily at the FCC, but will also work with the White House and Congress. Unlicensed advocates have been urging the FCC to increase unlicensed spectrum through the upcoming incentive auction, along with its proceedings on the 3.5 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

Although each of the major companies involved in WifiForward “is already a marquee name in Washington, I do think there’s value in this sort of coalition,” said Guggenheim Partners analyst Paul Gal- lant. “Formal collaboration among companies that don’t always see eye to eye can have a positive effect on policymakers. And it distills the politics for them, which doesn’t hurt either.” It’s “not inconsequential when you get companies of that magnitude to come forward,” said Medley Global Advisors analyst Jef- frey Silva. “But when you get the diverse mix of companies that’s involved in this group, it can’t help but increase momentum for forward action on unlicensed spectrum. I think in and of itself, it doesn’t neces- sarily change the equation overnight as far as policymaking, but it’s a powerful testimonial. I think it can provide more of an impetus for regulatory activity in general.”
Date: Friday, February 14 2014
SHLB Coalition Pleased to Support WifiForward
Written By SHLB Coalition
The WifiForward Coalition was launched earlier today in a conference call with reporters. The Coalition includes a variety of private and public sector organizations including the American Library Association, Comcast, Google, Microsoft and several others. More information about the coalition is available at www.wififorward.org.
Date: Thursday, February 13 2014
Tech Companies Push For Greater Wi-Fi Access – Video
Written By Ryan Knutson - Wall Street Journal MoneyBeat (Video)
Cable and tech companies including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Google and Microsoft are expected to announce a new coalition to bolster efforts to expand access to Wi-Fi. Ryan Knutson joins MoneyBeat.
Date: Thursday, February 13 2014
Tech Companies Push for Greater Wi-Fi Access
Written By Ryan Knutson and Shalini Ramachandran - Wall Street Journal
As mobile data traffic continues to skyrocket, Wi-Fi is getting a lot more attention.

On Thursday, cable companies Comcast Corp. , Time Warner Cable Inc. and Charter Communications Inc., along with tech giants Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. , are expected to announce a new coalition to bolster efforts to expand access to Wi-Fi.

The group, to be called WifiForward, will add heft to an already strong lobbying effort the companies are making in Washington to increase the allocation of airwaves that make Wi-Fi possible. The companies have already been independently pushing the government to release more spectrum for unlicensed uses, meaning anyone can use the frequencies for things like Bluetooth or garage door openers as long as they don't cause interference.
Date: Thursday, February 13 2014
Value of unlicensed spectrum may top $140 billion
Written By University of New Hampshire - Broadband Center of Excellence
The economic value of unlicensed wireless spectrum in the U.S. could exceed $140 billion, based on estimates derived from independent studies.

That's the conclusion of a newly released report by Richard Katz, Ph.D., who is Director of Strategy Research at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information. The report's release is tied to the introduction of a new industry-supported organization, WiFiForward, which seeks to encourage the liberation of unlicensed over-the-air spectrum for Internet traffic delivery purposes.
Date: Thursday, February 13 2014
New Coalition Calls for More Wi-Fi to Boost U.S. Economy
Written By Ellen Satterwhite
WifiForward Releases Economic Analysis Outlining $222 Billion in Value Added to the U.S. Economy as a Result of Innovation Unleashed by Unlicensed Spectrum

Washington, D.C. – A coalition of companies, organizations and public sector institutions today announced the launch of a new organization, WifiForward, which is calling for policymakers to unleash unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi and other uses, enabling economic growth, creating new jobs and spurring innovation nationwide. Members include the American Library Association, Best Buy, the ARRIS Group, Comcast, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Google, the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), Time Warner Cable and Microsoft, among others.