With the requirement to move to digital TV signals at the start of next year there will exist an area of unlicensed spectrum called white space that will become available for these use. The belief is that this could ‘encourage innovation in cellular telephones and wireless devices, much as WiFi did’.
In keeping with government employees’ striking ability to say things that are borderline tasteless and, at the very least, inappropriate FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein said “Let’s hope it’s not just Wi-Fi on steroids but Wi-Fi on amphetamines”. Nothing like a good drug reference to get your point across!
Google and others look at this kind of opportunity and salivate because it is really uncharted territory and great opportunity to innovate and take more market share in new areas. This is a chance to move technology forward and hopefully pad their bottom line in the process. Google is obviously well positioned to take advantage of any opportunity like this and if they didn’t, we might all think they finally lost their edge. (Sorry Yahoo, it appears as if Google is as sharp as ever!).
Of course, these kind of things rarely go unopposed. Another FCC Commissioner (I didn’t even know there was more than one), Deborah Taylor Tate was calling for an actual process that would be needed to address apparent interference issues that can arise from this. The article also stated:
“Traditional broadcasters such as Walt Disney Inc’s ABC, General Electric’s NBC, CBS Corp and even country singer Dolly Parton opposed the plan. They said signals sent over that part of the spectrum could cause interference with broadcasts or wireless microphones at live productions.”
There is some more to this story that you may want to check out for yourself. There are even free market v. the good of the people angles addressed. What it means for us as internet marketers is that the more ways that people can communicate it follows that more marketing can be used to reach them. This may create new and improved distribution channels for the information age that may need to be optimized or whatever it will be called. At the very least we will want to take advantage of it in some way. Heck, that’s what we do for a living isn’t it?