My Thoughts on The Free Wireless Internet Argument

Michael Dinan has written a great article on the AWS-3 clash between FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and various government officials. It contains some salient quotes from me. I have mixed emotions on this matter as I want in no way to hurt wireless providers or equipment manufacturers.

On the other hand I see massive potential in having free wireless internet for all to use. This could create an immense productivity leap we can’t even fathom today.

Many people in our government are against free internet access for the masses. I must ask, where did these government geniuses who tell us what free markets should and shouldn’t do, stand on the FCC opening up frequencies for WiFi. Did they know how WiFi would change the world and American productivity levels for the better?

Doesn’t WiFi in fact also compete with services from AT&T and Verizon?

We know devices will only get better — right? Imagine if wireless access gets cheaper. This has to be a great thing for productivity and for device manufacturers. Of course more ubiquitous and inexpensive wireless broadband means software and advanced services will also be in greater demand.

I must reiterate that I do still see a major need for high quality wireless broadband services if such a free service becomes a reality. Just think how much traffic the free network will have to carry.

As opposed to the government officials who seem to talk without actual research, my experience has been if I am at a location with free WiFi, it is generally usable only when others are asleep. Once people start to use free WiFi in numbers, it quickly becomes unusable and I have to switch to my Verizon EVDO service which I do pay for. This same concept is what I am sure will happen if there is more free spectrum available.

It is impossible to predict the future but what is important to note is we are heading towards a world where virtually everything will be connected to the Internet and in such a world, the need for connectivity and bandwidth will only increase.

Here is our opportunity to leapfrog the rest of the world in productivity. Those in our government who oppose progress which is for the good of the American people please speak out often so the American people can know how wrong you are on this matter and how simply unpatriotic you are.

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