My job is so easy this week – people just keep sending me great broadband articles. It’s great!!
This morning Deb Miller Slipek sent me a fun article on wireless broadband (Wireless Broadband Utopia: Are We There Yet? from Knowledge @ Wharton). It’s a great primer on wireless.
The article quotes Kendall Whitehouse, senior director of information technology at Wharton, sums up the current state of affairs. “The long-range future vision is very clear and a virtual certainty. At some point, you will be connected with a broadband link everywhere you go by devices that are always on. The question is: How are we going to get there?”
It continues to outline 3 options:
- Expanding network of WiFi “hotspots” is great for your home, library or coffee shop. It provides short range broadband access. It’s the service that most people are used to using but the limitations on distance are a barrier to wider implementation.
- WiMAX (aka worldwide interoperability for microwave access) provides signals at a distance of up to 3,000 square miles. It is gaining popularity and can make a good choice for community-wide deployments.
- 3G (third generation) is also a long range service that has been implemented in Europe but spectrum costs have been a barrier and for cellular companies the barrier has been providing access to data and voice. It’s a good choice when you are on the road but the bandwidth/spectrum barriers are an issue for metropolitan areas.
The best bets are of course on d – all of the above or e – something entirely new. But it’s fun to get a quick update.
I have a growing interest in wireless, especially community-wide wireless, more specifically I have a great interest in wireless access in Dublin as I will be spending quite a bit of time there next year. So, on a semi-related topic I have been checking out the WiFi situation in Dublin.
When I looked 2 months ago it looked as if there were plenty of WiFi networks – just few of them were free. Well today I found a list of free Wi-Fi spots in Dublin. OK most of them are in pubs, which means my spelling may be worse next year but at least I can get online without per minute charges.
Rumor has it that they’re working on citywide access – but I’ll believe that when I see it.