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Telecom Policy

Facing 5G Threat, Cable Scrambles to Fix Wi-Fi

The cable industry’s biggest lobbying group fired a shot across the hood of the auto industry last month. It urged the Federal Communications Commission to strip a large swath of airwaves from auto makers—who are supposed to use them to make car travel safer—and instead use the spectrum to relieve the growing congestion on beleaguered Wi-Fi networks.  

The request—opposed by the automakers—is the latest example of the cable industry’s increasingly desperate lobbying campaign to get more airwaves for Wi-Fi networks, overloaded by video streaming and devices like Amazon’s Echo. Cable is part of a broader tech industry campaign to get more spectrum that can be used for Wi-Fi. That effort includes Apple, Google, Cisco and Broadcom and others that sell digital devices in the home and the equipment that enables them.

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