How the 49ers Are Vanguards of Unlicensed Spectrum

June 5, 2014

Dear Constituents,

In an op-ed printed in the March 26th edition of the The Hill newspaper, titled "Don’t Overlook Potential of Unlicensed Spectrum," I wrote about how the 49ers are maximizing the potential of unlicensed spectrum and how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has an opportunity to fuel a next generation of innovation using unlicensed spectrum.

Unlicensed spectrum are the airwaves that innovators and entrepreneurs use freely (without a license from the FCC) to develop new gadgetry and technology. Notable technology using unlicensed spectrum include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The FCC has historically allotted portions of wireless spectrum for unlicensed use while auctioning the rest for private licensed use (i.e. wireless spectrum used by the likes of AT&T and Verizon to provide cellular service).

An upcoming incentive auction of wireless spectrum has the FCC under pressure to decide just how much should be allotted for unlicensed use. Given developments like the mega Wi-Fi network at the new 49ers stadium and the potential for far more, such as smart grid networking and connected hospitals, I argue the FCC should allot more spectrum for unlicensed use.

You can read my full op-ed from The Hill here, and if you have any questions or comments, let me hear from you.


Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress