The telecom industry you know and love (AT&T, T-Mobile, Intel, Qualcomm, etc) are sweating buckets over the governments plan to provide free Wi-Fi across the country. You might as well get out your sweat rag.
UPDATE: I’d like to thank the journalistic integrity of the Washington Post for spinning the super Wi-Fi into a huge media fabrication. Anyways, I stand by my original statement – it’s crap.
1. Big Brother is watching
Sure, free super Wi-Fi sounds great in retrospect. Being connected everywhere without forcefully squeezing into a crowded Starbucks to check e-mail sounds like a dream come true. Call me crazy or paranoid, I do not trust the government with this plan. You think having ad’s know your personal information is creepy? Who knows what the government will do with the information that’s being sent from your device! It’s just not a good combination.
2. Limited capability
Just because you see the word “free” doesn’t mean it’s going to be this life altering, new technology that will change the internet as we know it. So the radio waves can penetrate through cement walls. BIG DEAL. Can I stream the entire first season of House of Cards without it stuttering? Can I stream me some Pandora and Spotify? What about online gaming? What exactly can I use this free Wi-Fi for? Who is the target audience?
“For a casual user of the Web, perhaps this could replace carrier service,” said Jeffrey Silva, an analyst at the Medley Global Advisors research firm.
What does casual web usage consist of anymore? Checking e-mail? Posting on facebook? Tweeting? Smartphones do that faster than any computer can. You see, if you give anyone free internet access, they aren’t going to do those casual web things. They’re going to Netflix all of their fave shows, stream show tunes for hours and abuse the hell out of this free ‘net.
Basically it will be ruined almost immediately. You can either expect an excruciatingly vigilant set of rules or an inconsistent quality of crappy service. Neither outcome is a win-win.
3. Nothing is free.
The money the government will use to buy local television stations radio waves is going to come from a magical money tree, right? I wish. Unfortunately, tax payers are going to pay for this, whether we use it or not.
The most disappointing aspect of this situation is Microsoft and Google’s support. And you know what? Their arguments seem sound. I mean, if we ever want a Google car, a country-wide Wi-Fi could be the only way to get auto-pilot for my Kia Forte. But this doesn’t feel right.
What do you think?