Both Republicans and Democrats support more spectrum. “Some issues are neither Republican nor Democrat” then FCC Chair Kevin Martin once said to me. More spectrum for everyone – unlicensed or lightly licensed – is proving popular for both. Republicans Latta, Guthrie and Rubio joined liberal Democrats asking the FCC to move this forward.
2.4 GHz WiFi is already often crowded and 5 GHz is starting to fill up. An ISP engineer implementing WiFi gateways tells me his company already has to bring down energy levels in apartment buildings or performance suffers. The telcos are trying to steal a big hunk of WiFi spectrum for their own (very expensive) networks.
The FCC has a powerful incentive to stop LTE-U, beyond the obvious harnm to WiFi. Giving the free spectrum to telcos lowers their incentive to bid in the 600 MHz spectrum auction, soon come. The FCC is promising a great deal of money to the treasury from that auction. A failure would be a major political problem.
Brian Hinman of Mimosa, an old friend, has led the drive to open a massive 500 MHz of the 10 GHz band now used for amateur radio. That would almost double the total WiFi spectrum. Much more including comments from both sides and my comment that Mimosa’s 4×4 MIMO radios are shipping and may be a price/performance breakthrough.