FCC issues order to boost wireless connectivity at stadiums, tunnels, airports

CenturyLink Field (Photo via Rennet Stowe)

Have you ever lost your cell phone connectivity in a tunnel, subway or sports stadium? We have, including some of our frustrating visits to CenturyLink Field here in Seattle.

Well, a new order from the Federal Communications Commission could help solve this wireless bottleneck. The FCC recently adopted new policies around the use of signal boosters, amplifiers that are designed to increase signals between networks and devices in congested or difficult to reach spots.

As part of the order, all four nationwide carriers, as well as some smaller regional carriers, have agreed to use the boosters.

The FCC writes:

Removing consumer and industry uncertainty regarding signal booster use and operation will promote further investment in and use of this promising technology. Signal boosters not only help consumers improve coverage where signal strength is weak, but they also aid public safety first responders by extending wireless access in hard-to serve areas such as tunnels, subways, and garages. This Report and Order reflects a common sense, consensus-based technical solution that will help millions of consumers across the country.

OK, now here’s the question: Is this going to help me get better cell phone reception this Saturday at CenturyLink when the Sounders kick off the season against the Montreal Impact?

Probably not.

The FCC says the new rules — which impact signal boosters in both consumer and industrial settings — won’t go into effect until March 2014.

  • Guest

    Thank you to the FCC. My wireless phone is my lifeline to the world. When I can’t use it, I demand action.