Where is the Whitespace?

In 2008, the 700MHz spectrum was reallocated to free up transmission bandwidth. There was an initial auction for control of specific blocks of bandwidth and even Google joined the bid.

Google’s intention was never to take control of the airwaves, but to bid the price high enough to mandate open access across the spectrum. This would allow any internet service providers to acquire wireless services on a wholesale basis from block owners and then resell them to customers. While this is certainly better than complete control by those major telecom giants (AT&T and Verizon), I am still waiting to see benefits for end-users…

Maybe it’s a pipe-dream, but I am wondering if we will ever see basic wi-fi available for free. I found that this feature would come in particularly handy for travelers. I am not looking for speeds that will allow me to stream movies, or even upload Facebook pages, but I am looking for basic data speeds that will allow me to send status updates, or view text-only emails, without having to pay $10 for 24 hours of airport access. This would allow travelers to get important travel updates on weather and schedule changes.

Thinking logically about it, it seems like a public safety concern to not have access to basic internet services and I think government agencies, specifically states, cities and townships should work harder on providing such minimal services for its people. One day internet access will become a human right and I would like to see more measures to treat it as such.

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