12/01

Is Free Wireless Broadband everywhere only a year away?

More than likely.

Free broadband for America has inched closer to reality: The plan, after two years of debate, is finally on the calendar for a full vote by the Federal Communications Commission. 

Assuming the plan is approved at the FCC's Dec. 18 meeting, one of the agency's last before President-elect Barack Obama takes office, free broadband could become reality within a year.

There will be a catch or two, of course.  Speed being one (higher speed will be priced at a premium).  But you're looking at the prospect of every car being transformed into an iPhone with wheels.

As Seth Godin told me recently in an interview to be posted in this blog later this week:  

Everything radio has done has been about leveraging a rare piece of spectrum, and the thing we have to acknowledge is that spectrum isn’t rare anymore. So the one asset you built your whole organization on is going away really fast and instead of putting your head in the sand and complaining about that, take advantage of the momentum so that when it does finally disappear, you have something else.

What's the answer?  Seth's is coming later this week.
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  • http://simplyusedphones.com/phone-service-directory.html Mark

    If we cannot have cell phone calls without them being dropped then how are going to have internet connnection wireless.
    There is a technology for “shooting a T1 from building to building within a complex.”
    In theory not a problem, reality….never works between wind, birds, trees etc.
    And the catch you mention, about faster speed, doesn’t everyone want faster speed??
    So in fact wireless internet as we have grown accustom, will not be free.

  • Greg

    Mark,
    I’m not sure if this is the same thing, but the FCC already approved this, below:
    “FCC Approves White Spaces Devices in TV Band”
    “Even some commentators associated with the broadcast industry have suggested that broadcasters prepare for the coming of this new wireless technology. Mark Ramsey, in his Hear 2.0 blog, urges radio broadcasters to prepare for the coming competition from ‘wi-fi on steroids’ that would be available on these channels. Jennifer Lane, in her audio4cast blog, while not specifically reacting to this decision but instead to the general availability of wireless Internet options, suggests that radio broadcasters embrace the Internet, introduce their staffs to Internet radio, or otherwise they will be left behind by new digital competition.”
    http://tinyurl.com/5p4gs5
    You are right – eventually, all cars will have Internet access. Broadcasters better jump on this, because who is going to listen to terrestrial radio, when they have access to Internet radio.

  • George

    “who is going to listen to terrestrial radio, when they have access to Internet radio.”
    That overstates the quality of internet radio, which is mainly aimed at that very small minority of serious music fans.
    As bad as terrestrial radio is, and we can debate that all day, the fact is that most of internet radio is done by hobbyists. It’s amateur radio done by fans of certain kinds of music. And that’s fine for what it is, but it’s not the same as what most people expect from the radio.
    The other issue is if internet radio will survive its current battle with the RIAA. The fact is that while content is mostly free today, content distributors (internet radio stations) are liable for huge music royalties. How can internet radio pay the royalty rates without turning into terrestrial radio, complete with commercials and limited playlists? It could be that by the time the internet is available in cars, the public won’t be able to tell the difference between internet radio and over-the-air radio.

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