Let my packets go!

2006-10-31

in Geek stuff, Internet matters

Oxford Social Sciences Library

Why is wireless networking so dodgy right now? I am not talking about typing 400 character messages into your phone with your thumbs, but about accessing something really useful with a device not physically connected to a computer network.

Not to sound like Margaret Thatcher, but a big part of the answer is government regulation. Back in the day when analog cellular phones were a dream, there was a belief that radio frequencies had to be allocated, for eternity, to a particular group for a specific use. The advent of cool networking technologies like CDMA has demonstrated that this is not only wrong, but incredibly inefficient.

If we abandoned a broadcast television station or two, or national militaries gave up some of the radio frequency spectrum allocated to them, some really good wireless internet access could emerge. Until then, we must all wait until technological advancement removes the shackles imposed by governments concerned about the technological issues of decades past.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan October 31, 2006 at 2:24 am

This article relates to the above.

. October 22, 2009 at 5:15 pm

If we abandoned a broadcast television station or two, or national militaries gave up some of the radio frequency spectrum allocated to them, some really good wireless internet access could emerge.

First ‘white space’ network hits Claudville, Virginia

Well, this one’s been years in the making (literally), but it looks like the very first white space network using those newly freed up broadcast TV channels has now been lit up in Claudville, Virginia (population 916), which should just be the first of plenty more rural communities to come. As you might expect, the network was no small undertaking even considering the size of the town, and involved an “experimental license” from the FCC, network infrastructure from Spectrum Bridge, and a slew of equipment that Dell, Microsoft and the TDF Foundation contributed to the local school and computer center. No word on anything like actual speeds just yet, but we’re guessing the Claudville residents will be plenty pleased regardless, as they’ve been stuck with nothing more than dial-up or expensive satellite internet until now.

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