While the world watched U.S. citizens’ votes with a careful eye on Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously on something pretty important too: It decided to allow the unlicensed use of the white space television spectrum.
This means that a big chunk of radio airwaves–those being freed up once all U.S. TV broadcasts go digital early next year–can now be used to create wireless broadband networks. In turn, we soon could see Wi-Fi Internet access as democratic as this week’s election was.
“Opening the white spaces will allow for the creation of a Wi-Fi on steroids. It has the potential to improve wireless broadband connectivity and inspire an ever-widening array of new Internet-based products and services for consumers,” said FCC chairman Kevin Martin.
The creation of this “Wi-Fi on steroids” has innumerable implications for anyone using digital communications. For marketers, it means that their email messages will reach people more often, and in more places, than ever before. Travelers with laptops will be on the Internet much more, since they won’t have to struggle to find a wireless connection. Notebook-users on a budget could connect to the Internet at home, too.
Meanwhile the latest smart phones are being equipped with Wi-Fi. Consumers without a 3G connection, and/or a special Web plan with their cellular providers, will still be able to access the Internet on their phones thanks to Wi-Fi. Their latest mobile email messages–including marketing messages–will always be at their fingertips.
Eydie Cubarrubia, Marketing Communications Manager, mobileStorm
“I’d rather you text me”