Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WIFI, Embraced by Jobs, Competes With Telco

Terrific opinion article in this morning's Wall Street Journal that should be a must read by the FCC and DOJ. I never knew the impact that Steve Jobs had on WIFI, but I am certainly not surprised. He recognized the impact that mobility had on society and embraced it in his devices. And what I learned about usage did surprise me. "Notice, for one thing, that the biggest deliverer of data to smart phones and related devices isn't any of the wireless carriers. It's Wi-Fi, which accounts for 33% compared to 8% for AT&T and 18% for Verizon."

So as the DOJ fights AT&T in their cellular acquisition efforts, they forget to consider that competition comes from more than one source. Our wireless usage comes not from cellular but from WIFI. And with cable companies offering WIFI coverage and competition being offered by Lightsquared, does the consumer have to worry about AT&T Acquiring T-Mobile?

Ultimately, we should let the market figure out ways to enable competition to grow. Too much policy restricts and does not encourage innovation. But I think the article says it best, "In other words, let's have a little more faith in technical and contractual innovations to manage our growing bandwidth demand while Washington engages instead in a more orderly rethink of spectrum policy."

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