The days of inadvertently maxing out your cellular data plan because your smartphone happens to be a few inches outside your Wi-Fi network’s range are soon to be over.
Recently, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) issued a new 802.22 Wi-Fi standard that covers 12,000 square miles from a single base station. Even better, this new standard will broadcast data up to 22 Mbps. Although the infrastructure and devices needed to accommodate this new standard will take years to develop, the idea of universal Wi-Fi access (which this magazine believes should be a free universal right) is one step closer to reality.
While this newly expanded Wi-Fi range will be a boon to rural communities that currently fall outside the range of many base stations and to municipal governments seeking to provide universal Wi-Fi access, radio broadcasters will face even more competition to remain relevant in a world where an increasing number of consumers are tuning into their smartphones for popular programming. To this I say, “Podcasters rejoice!”