Friday, December 14, 2007

700Mhz to Freedom

In case you've been living in a cave, the FCC will be auctioning bands of the 700 Mhz spectrum by 2008 - television broadcasts will finally be exclusively digital. Google's pledged to meet the starting bid of $4.6B. The EM Spectrum is incredibly valuable, but the 700 band is particularly useful because of its range and penetration properties - think of where you've been able to get TV reception! In general, higher freqs are more directional and lower ones don't carry as much data. The ranges have their own properties in terms of the materials that make them scatter (foliage for example).
The real question will be in the spectrum usage and policy. Google's pushing for (read: I believe has successfully lobbied for) open standards for wireless Internet connectivity - the big telcos want to be able to lock in their own service and access devices - think Cingular and the iPhone. As far as I know nobody's saying this has to be used for 'net access.

My hopes - abundant cheap high speed Internet everywhere in the US to include portable and handheld devices. Oh yeah!

Lots of talk here - I'll post when something eventful comes out.

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