What Could President Obama’s Wireless Plan Mean For Cloud Service Providers?
President Obama has announced a plan to bring high-speed wireless Internet access to 98% of Americans by freeing up the radio spectrum, incentivizing innovation, and investing in the creation of a nationwide public safety network. The White House claims the National Wireless Initiative can cut the national deficit by $10 billion. But that’s small change next to what cloud service providers stand to make on the deal.
The press release explaining President Obama’s full plan for the National Wireless Initiative is well worth a read for those interested in the details. But the basic idea is that the US Government will give current spectrum-band holders financial incentive to voluntarily part with them at auction with an end-goal of freeing up 500 MHz. That alone is expected to raise $27.8 billion.
Then, once that bandwidth is freed up, the National Wireless Initiative would use it to roll out publicly-funded 4G wireless service to rural areas that private carriers like Verizon tend to pass over. And $3 billion of the money raised would go to funding new breakthroughs in wireless technologies, with another $10 billion or so going into reducing the national deficit.
But what could that mean for cloud service providers? Potentially everything.
No one needs to be told that cloud access hinges on Internet access. And while I’m sure many, if not most, of the rural communities the White House is talking about have some kind of web access, TalkinCloud would bet it’s not as fast as the kind of 4G/WiMAX deployment proposed. And ubiquitous high-speed Internet access could mean whole new markets for cloud services.
I’m not even talking about smartphones. Solutions like TalkinCloud favorite gadget Verizon MiFi lets anyone get any wireless device online. If that becomes as true in the middle of the heartland as it does here in New York City, it could open up new verticals and markets.
That said, America’s not the world, and cloud services are heating up the world over. But the National Wireless Initiative could be a real boon for channel organizations if they keep vigilant.
Side note: Some members of the TalkinCloud team previously worked for MuniWireless.com, a fantastic media site covering public broadband, city Wifi and municipal wireless efforts. We continue to recommend MuniWireless as a destination for those who are seeking to better understand WiFi and broadband issues.