It was rumored that the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) was going to build a national Wi-Fi system, but the FCC recently shot that rumor down.
What the FCC is actually proposing now is to set aside and auction off more “wireless spectrums” in the so-called “white space” areas. Basically all wireless devices, from cell phones to radio stations, require a certain amount of spectrum in order to work.
There are two types of wireless users, licensed and unlicensed. “Unlicensed” users are users whose wireless communication systems don’t require FCC license, like a home Wi-Fi network. Licensed users are things like radio stations which require a FCC license in order to operate. “White spaces” are specific spectrums at the national level that aren’t being used locally, basically wasted space that could be used to set up wireless networks, but it would be to expensive or inefficient to do so.
The FCC’s idea is to auction off certain white spaces spectrums to the “public,” but realistically who could afford to buy these white spaces, I don’t know any individuals with money to burn who would spend it on something like this. The idea is to try to get a company like Google to buy the white spaces, especially because Google already provides Wi-Fi to Mountain View, Calif. and New York City, so it’s something they are familiar with doing.
The catch would be that if Google bought and set up a network locally that they could be like a gatekeeper, forcing users to sign into the network with their Gmail account.
The idea of a national Wi-Fi network is pretty cool but not to realistic at this point in time, but the idea of a company like Google buying section’s of white spaces to set up local network’s seems more legit. That way Google could continue to grow and even get more people to sign up for Gmail accounts if they were to act as gatekeepers.
In the future as technology continues to improve and grow, I could see something like a national Wi-Fi network happening, especially as more and more technology comes out that is cloud based and focuses on internet usage.