FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has unveiled a plan to spend $1B/year in 2015 and 2016 to install Wi-Fi networks in U.S. schools and libraries, through the government's E-Rate program. Last year, no E-Rate funds were available for Wi-Fi.
Meanwhile, Senators Marco Rubio and Cory Booker have introduced a bill that calls on the FCC explore opening up 75MHz. (5850-5925MHz.) for commercial Wi-Fi use. The auto industry isn't crazy about the idea, given the band is already set to be used to enable car-to-car communication.
In March, the FCC committed to opening up 100MHz. of 5GHz.-band spectrum previously used by satellite phone companies for Wi-Fi use.
Enterprise/carrier Wi-Fi equipment vendors Aruba (ARUN +3.1%), Ruckus (RKUS +4.4%), Ubiquiti (UBNT +3.7%), and Aerohive (HIVE +1.2%) are all trading higher following the latest announcements. Ruckus might also be getting a lift from news of deals with hotel owners La Quinta and Scandic.
The FCC/Senate moves come ahead of the mass adoption of the HotSpot 2.0 standard, which is expected to boost public and carrier Wi-Fi usage by allowing devices to automatically log into hotspots.