Thursday, September 07, 2006

Silicon Valley Gets Wireless 2.0

The New York Times and CrunchGear have reported some news that has made my day - bringing ever-present wireless Internet to the Silicon Valley, perhaps as soon as early-2007.

  • I.B.M and Cisco will create the infrastucture to build 1500 square miles of wireless coverage for 2.4 million residents.
  • Basic service will be free, faster service will cost a monthly fee.
  • Special equipment may be necessary to bring service into the home.
  • Cities are free to invite rival wireless carriers (e.g. Google/Earthlink in SF, Clearwire).
  • Providers may charge extra for VOIP calls.
This is great news for everyone who lives in the bay area. For most, DSL will become obsolete, as the wireless service will provide sufficient bandwidth to replace existing service. People will be able to access the service everywhere, not just in their own homes. Once nationalized, this can not only replace DSL, but cellular as well. I've called this Wireless 2.0.

I like that companies and governments across the country are seeing the value of ubiquitous Internet access, and are taking action upon themselves rather than waiting for Telco's to catch up. I can't wait until applications start to take advantage of this kind of functionality, reducing all of our dependencies on cell phones for mobile computing. Mobile versions of Google Maps and other localized services could actually start being useful once they're removed from the cellular world.

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