Yesterday, Google made a proposal
to the Federal Communications Commission to free up unused TV broadcast channels known as “white space”. The plan? Utilize this bandwidth for a high speed wireless internet network that can propagate long distances and through obstacles. Google engineers have called the offering “Wi-Fi on Steroids”.
The white space Google is talking about is part of the TV spectrum that offers extra room for channels 2 to 51. When digital TV becomes mandated in the U.S. (after Feb 2009) this extra space will be no longer needed and Google is suggesting that it be used to build a hi speed wireless network.
In the FCC submission, Google outlines some processes and tests to avoid interference on the frequencies and offers free tech support for people using their Wi-Fi. This submission coincides well with Google mobile android handsets which are due out later this year.
While the plan for free wireless internet would surely increase Google usage in the U.S., there are some other implications that need to be considered. For example, Marketing Pilgrim points out that as an ISP, Google would control a huge amount of personal information which could be integrated to influence search results.
Business owners should keep their eyes on this one, as free wireless internet for all = the need for an advanced internet marketing strategy.