“Mister Broadcaster, you’re screwed!” That’s the message of a post breathlessly announcing a new WiFi standard:
Pundits scoffed at the idea that the Internet could ever live in cars (but) the just-released new Wi-Fi standard has a total range of 12,000 square miles – from a single base station.
Lest the potential impact on radio be missed, the poster added:
Do you think this will affect radio, Mr. Broadcaster? What about you, Mr. NAB? What it certainly will mean is that the exclusivity rendered by broadcast signals will cease to exist.
Well, Mr. Broadcaster, before you get too concerned, read on.
Yes, indeed there is a new WiFi standard, and in theory it might cover such an area, but it has nothing to do with cars, and it’s implementation won’t have any impact on the vast majority of Americans--or radio for that matter.
Read a much more balanced description of the new standard here.
The actual coverage will probably be far less than the theoretical maximum. It uses line-of-sight UHF broadcast frequencies and requires powerful transmitters and tall towers to maximize coverage.
Most importantly, it is not designed for mobile reception (unless you equip your Prius as shown above...and leave it parked).
The new standard is designed to provide point-to-point Internet service for remote areas under-served by traditional telephone and Internet providers.
Despite the author’s all-too-apparent delight that Mr. Broadcaster will finally get what’s due, the post is a pipe dream, and we think we know what’s in the pipe.
New-media zealots have been predicting the imminent arrival of everywhere-Internet for years.
Remember all the cities that promised municipal city-wide WiFi? How’s that worked out?
In 2009 we coined the phrase Delusional Rapture to capture the frothy excitement new-media zealots exhibit when they talk about some future device or service they believe/hope will cause radio’s demise.
And it is always something in the future. The zealots all seem to believe that while radio may have survived everything thrown at it thus far, it is the next thing that will do it in.
If all their predictions were accurate, Mr. Broadcaster would be toast by now. However, the zealous enthusiasm of radio’s critics far exceeds the accuracy of their predictions.
Mr. Broadcaster faces many challenges as well as new opportunites, but radio is up to the task. That’s why the zealots have to fabricate boogeymen and hobgoblins. It keeps their spirits up.