Study: FCC WiFi proposals to add $183bn to US economy

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Two pending Federal Communications Commission (FCC) WiFi proposals would add at least $183.44 billion (€167.24bn) to the US economy over the next five years, according to the findings of a study on the FCC’s proposals to open the 5.9 GHz band and 6 GHz band to WiFi, prepared for WifiForward – an ad hoc, broad-based group of companies, organisations and public sector institutions working to alleviate the WiFi spectrum crunch – by economics and telecommunications policy scholar Dr Raul Katz.

According to the study, the FCC’s proposals will create a wide array of economic benefits:

  • Increase broadband speeds, accelerate deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT), and support the augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) market— adding $106 billion to the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • Allow producers to realise a producer surplus of $69 billion based on savings on enterprise wireless traffic and sales of WiFi and AR/VR equipment.
  • Produce $8 billion in consumer surplus from increased broadband speeds.

By spectrum band, the study concluded that by 2025:

  • The FCC’s proposal to open the 5.9 GHz band to WiFi would provide $28.14 billion in economic value;
  • The FCC’s proposal to open the 6 GHz band to WiFi would generate $153.75 billion in economic value;
  • Sales of WiFi equipment for both bands would generate $1.54 billion in economic value.

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