The History of Wireless Internet
In the 1980s the FCC began to allow unlicensed microwave frequencies to be used for limited purposes. Microwave appliances and communications equipment sometimes used the same unlicensed frequencies. Because there could be more than one user of a frequency at the same time, there was potential for signal interference that needed to be addressed with the design of wireless communication devices.
IEEE 802.11 became a standard for wireless network equipment in 1997. It brought compatibility to the various units of equipment. “IEEE 802.11” was a technical sounding phrase. As a result, IEEE 802.11 networks began to be marketed as “Wi-Fi” and