Google along with nine other companies were granted this week special administrative status for “white space” broadcast spectrum by the FCC. The spectrum was previously used as a buffer from television broadcast signals, but since TV has moved into the digital realm it is ripe for technological development.
One of the purposes would be to create a “super wi-fi” service with the spectrum because it has a long wavelength and thus could cover much more area than today’s standard wifi signals. It could perhaps create a national wifi service that could potentially be used to connect all sorts of devices.
That sounds promising. Surely Google wants to be able to connect many devices to the web as possible no matter where they are. That would surely boost cloud computing’s credibility. But what will the wireless carriers and broadband operators think of this? Google clearly has a close relationship with companies such as Verizon, is this an attempt to possibly compete with them down the line?
Let’s not forget that Google will be providing fast fiber broadband to some communities as a test in the near future. They feel as though operators don’t have enough incentive to invest in making the web faster. I don’t think that the problem is that operators don’t want to, they simply cannot justify spending billions on infrastructure when it’s not clear how they are going to profit from doing so. It’s unlikely they could simply start charging customers more.
But Google, on the other hand, has a monetization plan that shows the more people use the web, the more the company makes money. Thus their interest in “super wifi”.