google spectrum – wireless everywhere

I’d call it hubris, except that Google actually has an achievable plan to change the entire way that we use wireless spectrum. In years past, of course, we’ve used this same spectrum for broadcast signals — from TV to radio. Yes, yes, I know Google’s proposal is specifically targeting the “white spaces” in this spectrum, but the word from news blogs that have tracked Google’s $4.6 billion attempt to win the 700mHz auction tells us that the “white space” proposal is just another way of getting what Google wanted in the first place.

The Googlers want to turn the entire U.S. into one big wireless hot spot — simply by using spectrum that floods us right now (TV white space, etc.), but that carries no useful signal. As C|Net put it: “Google on Monday said it has a plan to have American consumers from Manhattan to rural North Dakota surfing the Web on handheld gadgets at gigabits-per-second speeds by the 2009 holiday season.” That’s an aggressive timeline!

There are a few more details that make this possibility highly possible — this portion of the spectrum can propagate long distances and through obstacles, and it also has the bandwidth to support vastly faster data rates than today’s standard Internet service offerings. I guess it’s appropriate that Richard Whitt from Google is tossing around “Wi-Fi on steroids” as a naming possibility. This is incredible news…. to say the least. Oh, but there are some down-sides, especially in regards to face-to-face relationships, so over at Geek Dad, I’ve posted some additional thoughts about the impact on family life >>

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