Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Wi-Fi

In the reading this week, I was most interested in the survey question “By 2014, 90% of all Americans will go online from home via high-speed networks that are dramatically faster than today’s high-speed networks”. While there was disagreement among the experts as to how or even if this is possible, this seems to be a pretty accurate prediction. While this isn’t directly mentioned, wireless is an increasingly pervasive option for accessing the internet. Here at the university, there are several access sites one can bring their laptop to and easily access the internet. There are several pilot cities around the nation, including Philadelphia, that plan on offering free (eventually fee based) wireless internet access in the near future. What I’m curious about is, with the falling prices of actual computer hardware, will this be a way to bridge the digital divide? This article from Library Journal mentions the plan Philadelphia, among other cities, has proposed: http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA479170 Will government eventually regulate the cost and/or availability of the internet, much like what happened with radio and television when they first became available?

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. The government may play a part by continuing to amend the Telecommunications Act and other legislation to give the same right to access online as they do now for telephone. Yet many groups severely lag in access ( http://www.fcc.gov/indians/itibrochure.pdf) with even low- to no-cost initiatives like Lifeline only scratching the surface because the backbone to area costs are prohibitive. Would wi-fi be any different?

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