As someone who spends considerable time travelling, the prospect of free citywide WiFi always sounds appealing. I’m not the only person to feel this way; I remember when Google announced the San Francisco WiFi blanket a number of my California-based colleagues entered a near ecstatic emotional state. I can’t describe their response when the plans were eventually shelved. Let’s just say it involved tears and lots of hugging.
However, recent announcements by the FCC have once again given hope to the prospect of WiFi blankets in both urban and rural environments. Although no commitment has been made and the FCC is continuing to investigate, it appears that the final barriers to using white space could soon be lifted. If successful, the impact on the country’s broadband access could be significant.
September 9, 2010