When two channels overlap, this degrades the signal and causes interference. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in charge of regulating all communication frequencies.
Wireless LAN (WLAN) channels are frequently accessed using IEEE 802.104 protocols, and equipment that does so is sold mostly under the trademark Wi-Fi. Other equipment also accesses the same channels, such as Bluetooth. The radio frequency (RF) spectrum is vital for wireless communications infrastructure.
The 802.11 standard provides several distinct radio frequency bands for use in Wi-Fi communications: 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, 3.6 GHz, 4.9 GHz, 5 GHz, 5.9 GHz, 6 GHz and 60 GHz. Each range is divided into a multitude of channels. In the standards, channels are numbered at 5 MHz spacing within a band (except in the 60 GHz band, where they are 2.16 GHz apart), and the number linearly relates to the centre frequency of the channel. Although channels are numbered at 5 MHz spacing, transmitters generally occupy at least 20 MHz, and standards allow for channels to be bonded together to form wider channels for higher throughput.
Countries apply their own regulations to the allowable channels, allowed users and maximum power levels within these frequency ranges. The ISM band ranges are also often used.