Monday, February 04, 2008

2008 a pivotal year for wireless broadband

The year 2008 will be a pivotal one that could mark the beginning of the end of the duopolistic hold the telcos and cable companies have over broadband Internet access marked by widespread market failure and lack of competition.

The Federal Communications Commission is set to make key decisions this year that determine whether broadband will be delivered over the air and provide the much needed wireless "third pipe" for broadband delivery starting in 2009.

The FCC is currently auctioning off portions of the 700mhz spectrum that could carry both mobile and fixed broadband services. The agency is also testing revamped prototype devices
developed by a consortium including Microsoft, Google, Dell, HP, Intel, Earthlink and Phillips that would transmit broadband signals at speeds reaching as high as 80Mps that would blow nearly all existing U.S. wireline broadband providers out of the water.

The White Spaces Coalition's prototypes failed the first round of testing last year. The coalition hopes to prove the prototypes, which transmit on unused portions of digital TV broadcast frequencies, won't interfere with TV signals.

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