“When the Federal Communications Commission first approved the use of unlicensed bands of the airwaves decades ago, it began a revolution in consumer electronics — first in television remote controls and garage door openers, then in baby monitors and cordless phones, and most recently in wireless computer networks,” Edward Wyatt reports for The New York Times. “This month, the F.C.C. is likely to approve what could be an even bigger expansion of the unlicensed airwaves, opening the door to supercharged Wi-Fi networks that will do away with the need to find a wireless hot spot and will provide the scaffolding for new applications that are not yet imagined.”
“Just as broadband-ready smartphones could hardly be imagined in 1938, when the F.C.C. first approved the use of unlicensed radio waves, or even in 1985, when it issued the rules that led to Wi-Fi, the eventual consumer products that will use the new airwaves are all but unknown,” Wyatt reports. “‘I’m absolutely confident that there will be a huge range of applications that we cannot yet predict,’ said Dan Reed, corporate vice president for technology policy and strategy at Microsoft, which, alongside Google and Dell, has pushed hard for the F.C.C. to approve the new rules.”
Wyatt reports, “The unused bands of spectrum were generated by the conversion of television signals from analog to digital… The new airwaves are particularly attractive because television signals are low-frequency waves, meaning they can travel farther, go more easily through walls, trees and other obstructions, and provide more reliable connections… The F.C.C. is virtually certain to approve the new rules at its Sept. 23 meeting, because it already has approved a similar set of rules, in November 2008. Those rules have never been in effect, however, because both supporters and opponents of the concept objected to some of the details.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Betcha Steve Jobs has some ideas for uses of that spectrum should the new rules be approved.
A lot of people call [iPod touch] an iPhone without the phone. It’s also an iPhone without a contract. – Apple CEO Steve Jobs, September 01, 2010
[Attribution: Times of the Internet. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “cj” for the heads up.]