White Space

Just when you think that you came up with some disruptive technology, someone else comes up with something even more disruptive.

The decision by the FCC to free up the so-called 'white space' (i.e. the bandwidth between traditional broadcasts) is leading to a quiet revolution in the US TV industry. There's a good overview of the situation here by my former colleague, Shelly Palmer that's worth a read.

Companies like AT&T and Verizon have been made to look like chumps after they bid over the odds for the analogue spectrum that will be freed up by moving TV to digital. Everyone at the time was surprised that Google didn't bid - and they were right to play the waiting game since they can now get better spectrum for free.

The implications for the Internet TV industry are considerable. In particular, the opportunity for closed circuit systems on campuses, based and in office blocks is phenomenal. This spectrum isn't as easily blocked by solid objects in the same way as WiFi is.

The implication for that over-hackneyed phrase 'cloud computing' are also considerable.

Indeed, this may be the most significant development for the internet since Time Berners-Lee and colleagues' work on establishing the World Wide Web.