Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Obama wants wireless to get more attention, says it can force more competition among all of broadband and reach remote areas more cheaply

Cecilia Kang ran an important story on p A10 of the Washington Post Tuesday Sept 5, “White House urges more wireless Internet access; Plan would increase competition, broaden service, proponents say,” link here.

Ironically, I saw this yesterday while in a hospital waiting room about to undergo outpatient surgery (see my main blog). Obama believes that wireless should get more “spectrum” because ultimately it is probably cheaper than land line service.

One problem is that cable and even FIOS providers tend to lock in home customers at high rates, upped by special taxes and fees, after introductory offers. Another is that many companies will not allow associates to work from home with wireless; they insist on land line arrangements (especially catalogue companies that hire home-based customer service agents). But wireless is becoming more robust and can be made more secure, so these policies could change. There is an impression that wireless security is a liability for drive by attacks, especially with the Windows Firewall alone; but some (such as Geek Squad) say these concerns are overblown, as long as a subscription service (which has security) is paid for, rather than depending on free local service.

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