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Carmakers Oppose Opening Up 5GHZ Spectrum Space For Unlicensed Wi-Fi

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the but-we-had-our-eyes-on-the-pies dept.

Communications 186

s122604 writes "Automakers aren't too happy about a recent U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal, which uses part of the wireless spectrum assigned to vehicle-to-vehicle technology for Wi-Fi instead. The FCC announced that it plans to free up 195 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band for unlicensed use in an effort to address the U.S.' spectrum crisis. This could potentially lead to Wi-Fi speeds faster than 1 gigabit per second."

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It's about money, as usual (-1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986543)

Automakers have invested a lot in developing systems that use the entire spectrum in that range. Boo hoo. The public should have dibs on some of that. It's not like the FCC, which voted unanimously on this one, took it all away from them. They just have to adjust.

Re:It's about money, as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42986603)

As a car owner and an owner of the entire spectrum (e.g. member of the public), I say "What?" to your post.

Re:It's about money, as usual (2, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986939)

You don't own that spectrum. Corporations own that spectrum. Right now, lobbyists from the electronics industry are paying / bribing / offering more to the regulators than the car manufacturers are prepared to meet. Just like the commercial broadcast spectrum segments -- AM and FM radio, television -- of which you get to use precisely zero, this isn't about you -- it's about the manufacturers of devices that will use that spectrum.

The FCC's spectrum allocation arm allocates so little of the available spectrum to the public, and in particular, easily usable spectrum, that it is fairly painful to contemplate. The only people with a public voice are those with extremely deep pockets, and that's no accident.

Re:It's about money, as usual (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987331)

Uh, no. It's the public's spectrum. The FCC runs it for us, and leases it out to corporations, WHO PAY US for the right to use it.

A landlord might lease out a room, and under the terms of that lease may not be allowed to enter the room unannounced any more, but that doesn't mean the landlord is no longer the owner.

Re:It's about money, as usual (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987901)

Funny, I haven't gotten any checks from the FCC recently...or, you know, ever.

Re:It's about money, as usual (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987597)

This. A thousand times this. Repeat for what passes for our whole society, by the way. Corporations bribe, take, and lie their way to finite resources while the people who own those resources get nothing. Spectrum, minerals, "intellectual property", it makes no difference.

The one thing they really fear, of course, is people communicating. Look at the attempts to turn the Internet into cable TV. Look at the kind of crime it was to own a fax machine in the Soviet Union, or a printing press in countless societies. The thing is, those things certainly aren't infinite but they're not particularly scarce either. Useful spectrum is limited, and it's not easy to get back once given away (it should never be sold, only leased if at all). Lack of useful spectrum makes it harder for people to communicate and, in particular, to communicate without "permission". Free association and free exchange of thoughts and ideas is not good for statist control freaks or their corporate masters.

Re:It's about money, as usual (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42986725)

you're a fucking idiot. What you've really said is that "nobody should have any quality of service" and "you know how you paid to be able to use this for safety systems and put a lot of effort in? Fuck you, I want my facebook to load faster."

Re:It's about money, as usual (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42986845)

Bullshit. Those assholes won't have anything with any utility rolled out for another 10 years. We can use the wireless spectrum NOW.

Re: It's about money, as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42986933)

And bullshit too,
No wifi hardware is even designed to use the unauthorized bandwidth.

Re: It's about money, as usual (2)

LiENUS (207736) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987085)

Weird cos most mikrotik (and ubiquiti) gear should be able to use it with nothing but a firmware patch (actually no need to use a firmware patch just tick the box to disable regulatory restrictions but you run the risk of using other channels that aren't freed up yet)

Re:It's about money, as usual (-1, Troll)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986931)

I guess you didn't bother to RTFA, and I don't use Facefuck, Shitter, or any other 'social networking'

Re:It's about money, as usual (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987067)

yeah, I read the fucking article, but actually know a little about the industry, instead of just trolling for page views.

Re:It's about money, as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987195)

Well, funny thing about the free market, it does not care how much money you have invested in something. If there is a higher demand for what you are dependent on then your product, well too bad for you. I understand that the automakers are not used to this idea after being handed so much tax money, but they better pony up if they want a monopoly on public spectrum.

Re:It's about money, as usual (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987245)

wtf are 'page views' here, dimwit? OP doesnt look like he was trolling either, and you're probably a 16 year old kid in mom's basement. enlighten us oh wise one since you know so much about the fucking industry. ass.

Re:It's about money, as usual (1, Offtopic)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987413)

I guess you didn't bother to RTFA, and I don't use Facefuck, Shitter, or any other 'social networking'

yeah, I read the fucking article, but actually know a little about the industry, instead of just trolling for page views.

wtf are 'page views' here, dimwit? OP doesnt look like he was trolling either, and you're probably a 16 year old kid in mom's basement. enlighten us oh wise one since you know so much about the fucking industry. ass.

Aahh... these crispy, eloquent comments is why I come to Slashdot.

Re:It's about money, as usual (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987037)

I'm surprised that they aren't pulling out the "Interference" card.

Re:It's about money, as usual (3, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987217)

The public should have dibs on some of that.

But..but..Job Creators!

They oppose the public having any access to the spectrum for the same reason all the major corporate entities don't want you to have access to any nice things without they get get a nickel in they pocket for it.

They let the internet get away from them and they vowed to never let it happen again. In their minds, the internet should have been cable television on steroids, not some big open bazaar where people can post blogs calling them assholes. They got caught with their pants down on that one, and they'll be damned if they're going to let it happen again.

Oh, and eternal copyright. Because they can.

Re:It's about money, as usual (1)

whois (27479) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987355)

I think the future of radio transmission is moving away from "allocated frequencies" and towards direction sensing antennas, frequency hopping, error correction and traffic tagging. The reasons for this are multifold, but for starters having an agency say "nobody can use this frequency but Bob" doesn't stop Alice from using the frequency and crapflooding all over it. The law has provisions to stop Alice, but Bob is completely screwed while the law tracks down Alice and asks her to quit it.

Frequency hopping eases that for the source because it's much harder to jam. Interference still can happen but that's what the error correction is for, assuming non-intentional interference. Additionally, making the receive antenna directional makes an interfering source much harder to use because they've got to be on a similar angle to the receiver to screw things up.

In other words, the FCC is forcing people to keep up. First by telling TV stations to move, then by selling white space, now with this stuff. The slashdot post the other day about the UK looking to move radar out of 5Ghz and use passive radar is another example of changing the way radio is used. They aren't saying car makers can't use this, they're saying improve your systems to the point where everyone can use this without issue.

Of course it could still be about the money, since they originally sold the frequencies to automakers and now they're reselling it to wifi providers. I doubt auto makers are getting a refund.

Re:It's about money, as usual (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987425)

The vast majority of spectrum is "reserved" (meaning reserved for government use or later sale). There shouldn't be "open" bands. There should be "closed" bands (say, some of the scientific bands, and a few for the mobile phones sold to guarantee quality), but the rest should be open. Anyone any reason, so long as it plays nicely with others.

Re:It's about money, as usual (5, Insightful)

smpoole7 (1467717) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987583)

> so long as it plays nicely with others

Ah, that's the rub, though. You'd still need some regulation and certified, per-manufactured units that were sealed against tampering. If you're suggesting that we just throw a giant chunk of spectrum out for people to do with as they please, it will be unusable within a year or two from all the interference. Even worse, it will be interfering with other services, including some of MY licensed ones. :)

Naturally, I object to that.

You want some math? Bozo The Redneck has a 5GHz unit that he has "improved." To get away from all of his neighbors' emissions, he found a little screw inside that would lower his frequency to 4.5GHz. Hey, there wasn't anyone else there! He then discovered that it would "put out more better" if he removed that silver can on the output (i.e., the filter). Harmonics are simply multiples of the fundamental frequency, so now he's radiating junk at 9GHz, 13.5GHz, and 18GHz. This doesn't even include the *spurious* products that he's generating at heaven-only-knows what frequencies, because he also goosed the power, so now the amplifier is clipping like mad. :)

That's when I perk up and take notice, because I have a licensed Dragonwave link at 18GHz that we absolutely depend on. It ferries (via audio-over-IP, as well as one T1-over-IP that was a BEAST to set up, but that's a separate story!) several signals for our radio stations, as well as telemetry and video monitoring (to watch for the @#$@#$ copper thieves). We kind of depend on that thing, y'know?

And if you think that's an unlikely scenario, think back to the CB craze of the late 70's. Most truck stops sold linear amplifiers. Highly illegal, but that didn't stop people from buying them. Better yet, the bozos had no idea how to tune them, so they radiated trash and harmonics that absolutely destroyed TV reception in rural areas, where people had to depend on over-the-air antennas -- i.e., the very areas that were most likely to have rednecks running "LEE-nyers." It was a very real problem, and the FCC (the CB's called him "uncle Charlie") was constantly running around, busting people for running these pieces of junk.

Just turning frequencies over to the public sounds like a good idea, but most people don't know what they're doing. As someone who loves Open Source and Open Standards and all that, it grieves me to say it, but in this particular case, you'd better have some oversight and control.

If you don't, the end result is going to be that everyone interferes with everyone else and NO ONE will be able to communicate. Read up on the history of the FCC sometime: it was actually created (at least in part) at the request of *broadcasters,* who were sick and tired of constant interference, scrambling for "open" frequencies and no real limits on operation.

Re:It's about money, as usual (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987685)

If you're suggesting that we just throw a giant chunk of spectrum out for people to do with as they please, it will be unusable within a year or two from all the interference. Even worse, it will be interfering with other services, including some of MY licensed ones. :)

We've done that with 2.4 and 5 GHz, and it didn't work out the way you describe. Since reality has proven you wrong, I shouldn't have to take the time to do so. Also, 2.4 GHz had very poor rules on playing nice. Improved play-nice rules, and we'd get much more utility on an already useful range.

Re:It's about money, as usual (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987719)

While you don't need a permit to transmit on 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, there are very strict requirements on the radio transmitters and receivers operating there. It's not turned over to the public completely, which is probably what parent meant.

Re:It's about money, as usual (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987759)

Yeah, so? It worked for ISM, but if we expand that idea to other ranges, it'll immediately collapse? You lost me there. The fact that it works is proof that it wouldn't.

Re:It's about money, as usual (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987567)

I don't suppose you can give a single example of an auto or planned product that's actually using this spectrum? The auto makers are opposing it simply because they want to hang onto the spectrum.

The airwaves are public not private (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986609)

I'd rather have 1000 GBPS wireless for free than 10 GBPS wireless and stupid talking cars that anyone can hack if they have a decent rootkit, anyway.

Kitt; Micheal, you're going too fast.

Michael: Kitt, see this switch on your dashboard, it turns off your control of the accelerator.

Re:The airwaves are public not private (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986625)

Rootkits arent something that enable you to hack, and thats not how hacking works. Wireless systems can be made secure, you know, and we actually have a pretty good handle on it.

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986675)

Only if they are firmware and you can't put a dongle device (which is under the steering column on most vehicles) or attach one to the internal system.

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

discord5 (798235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986681)

Wireless systems can be made secure, you know, and we actually have a pretty good handle on it.

Yes, a splendid trackrecord to boot as well...

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986887)

Why yes, WPA has a pretty darn decent track record (even using a known-deficient algorithm on the backend), while WPA2 is generally acknowledged to be "secure".

Wireless hacks occur 99% of the time on open or WEP access points, and the other 1% on WPA with a poor passphrase. I dont believe anyone has actually pulled off an in-the-wild non-bruteforce hack of WPA, let alone WPA2.

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

colfer (619105) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987165)

Is it correct that the evil twin problem is unsolved for WPA2-Personal? Seems you can't prevent someone else from spoofing your SSID and harvesting the passphrase, unless you go to WPA2-Enterprise with Radius. Free Radius is available, but you need to run a little server in addition to your wireless router, I would guess. Maybe the extra hardware can double as a firewall?

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987465)

You don't need RADIUS if you sign an AP cert and a user Cert, right?

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

LiENUS (207736) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987717)

You still need a radius server, some routers have a built in radius server that you can provide the certs to to make it seem like you dont need one. however what is this "evil twin" attack that lets you harvest passphrases? The only attacks I'm aware of that involve an evil twin involve setting up a clone with the same ssid without encryption that pop up a captive portal when you try to browse the web and request the passphrase... ie social engineering there is no inherent weakness in wpa or wpa2 involving an evil twin afaik

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

colfer (619105) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987789)

That's good to know. I assumed that since the client can't distinguish the real router form the fake, it would respond to a password challenge with the password response, and that the response could be demunged to the cleartext, in WPA2-Personal. Glad to know if that's not true.

Re:The airwaves are public not private (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987179)

Might I point out that WinXP was "generally acknowledged to be secure"? Actually, it was pretty secure, compared to what we had been used to prior to WinXP. WinXP SP3 improves a great deal over WinXP, and Win7 improved even more - which only helps to demonstrate that "security" is a moving target. "Generally acknowledged" means squat.

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986685)

Wireless systems can be made somewhat secure, never perfectly secure, and car companies are not exactly doing everything they can to make these systems even adequately secure. As it is most are very insecure and easily hacked.

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986871)

Wireless radio systems have been around for about a century now, and Im not aware of anyone ever pulling off a hack of a car radio system or a radio tower through radio transmission. Just "being wireless" doesnt by itself make something vulnerable, just like just "being on the internet" doesnt make you vulnerable.

Its all about whats on the other end, and what it allows access to. Something with a lot of advanced features is going to be a lot harder to secure, while something that just tracks nearby vehicles could be remarkably easy to secure.

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987051)

Wireless radio systems have been around for about a century now, and Im not aware of anyone ever pulling off a hack of a car radio system or a radio tower through radio transmission.

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9229919/Car_hacking_Remote_access_and_other_security_issues [computerworld.com]
http://www.caranddriver.com/features/can-your-car-be-hacked-feature [caranddriver.com]

But you don't have to gain control of a car to do damage. If you can convince a V2V car that the 5 cars immediately ahead just came to a full stop because of a collision, you may be able to trick it into braking hard, causing a collision behind you.

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986965)

Oh really? As secure as not having wireless access? It's not like a car absolutely needs this gimmickry..

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987229)

It's not like a car absolutely needs this gimmickry..

It does if they're going to know where you're at, where you shop, who you see and what you're doing. And so they can send you targeted ads telling you about "special deals" wherever you go.

You think you're car is going to have a "Do Not Track" switch on the dashboard?

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987579)

It's not like a car absolutely needs antilock brakes, or seatbelts, or traction control, or a backup camera either. But driving is the most dangerous thing most of us do each week, and tech that can make it safer is a good plan..

We're very close now to freeway lanes with self-driving cars talking to one another making your freeway drive for you. My car does a pretty good job of knowing where the lanes are, and where the other cars nearby are, though cameras and radar, but it's not there yet. I've seen a Google self-driving car on the road, but the tall camera mast on the thing isn't going to work for most people. We need car-to-car comms for the compuets to chat with one another to do this right.

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

msauve (701917) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986993)

"Wireless systems can be made secure, you know, and we actually have a pretty good handle on it."

Only for very limited definitions of "we."

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

jamesh (87723) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986895)

I'd rather have 1000 GBPS wireless for free than 10 GBPS wireless and stupid talking cars that anyone can hack if they have a decent rootkit, anyway.

Kitt; Micheal, you're going too fast.

Michael: Kitt, see this switch on your dashboard, it turns off your control of the accelerator.

1TBPS?? Just how fast do you need to share pictures of cats on facebook????

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987235)

Just how fast do you need to share pictures of cats on facebook????

Faster than Ford needs to know which stores I shop at.

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987629)

Car to car transmissions are actually a secret plan to send all location data to Ford over a non-existent car-mesh-malware network. Got it. Do you wrap your car in a tinfoil hat?

Re:The airwaves are public not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987171)

you're retarded. This bandwidth has been reserved for safety systems to allow autonomous collision avoidance. This isn't proprietary cat videos for fords.

Re:The airwaves are public not private (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987499)

I'd rather have 1000 GBPS wireless for free than 10 GBPS wireless and stupid talking cars that anyone can hack if they have a decent rootkit, anyway.

Kitt; Micheal, you're going too fast.

Michael: Kitt, see this switch on your dashboard, it turns off your control of the accelerator.

If it talks, then, it can listen, so, who else can listen?

dear car makers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42986715)

please try to setup a wifi network for a large event "10k+ people" that's were we really need the extra channels!

and like vehicle-to-vehicle comms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42986717)

is gonna get anywhere anytime soon... it's nearly worthless until every car on the road has it.. which will take a LONG time.. even getting to something like 90%+ v2v-enabled will take decades.

Re:and like vehicle-to-vehicle comms (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986975)

and why would anyone want this? you do realize the rather large corporate/government monkey that will come with this, right?

Re:and like vehicle-to-vehicle comms (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987005)

is gonna get anywhere anytime soon... it's nearly worthless until every car on the road has it.. which will take a LONG time.. even getting to something like 90%+ v2v-enabled will take decades.

The benefits start accruing once 10 percent of the vehicles on the road have it. You don't need 90%. You don't even need 30%.

As you rush headlong into a fogged in traffic jam, there is a good chance that at least one vehicle in that jam will this technology and warn your car well ahead of time, so you can slow down (also slowing those behind you). You don't need every car to have this. Similarly, in-road transmitters can warn just enough new cars of trouble ahead to slow an entire stream of traffic.

Sure, not ALL of the capabilities of V2V will be available immediately, but plenty of them will work even with a small percentage of participants.

That being said, development of these systems is far from complete, and shifting them to new frequencies is really a last minute decision. There is no real reason that 5GHZ is ideal for this V2V use, and something much higher up in the spectrum might actually work just as well, if not better.

Re:and like vehicle-to-vehicle comms (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987155)

Or you could learn to drive in fog and not out drive your vision.

Re:and like vehicle-to-vehicle comms (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987243)

This isn't for "vehicle-to-vehicle comms.

Re:and like vehicle-to-vehicle comms (1)

Dahan (130247) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987905)

This isn't for "vehicle-to-vehicle comms.

"Automakers aren't too happy about a recent U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal, which uses part of the wireless spectrum assigned to vehicle-to-vehicle technology for Wi-Fi instead."

RTFS

Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (2, Interesting)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986735)

My router at home does N speeds of 300 megs and is attached to 16 meg cable, Do I really NEED to connect to my router at over 1 gig speeds if the cable modem it's connected to is still linked to the same half arsed, capped cable?

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42986777)

short term thinker

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986797)

You do realize that not all routers are attached to capped cable modems?

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (5, Informative)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986809)

Do you only have one device in your house? Because I'm pretty sure a lot of us have multiple.

Remember kids, "I can't use this" is not the same thing as "nobody can use this".

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (-1)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986915)

Um, yeah, 4 desktops, 2 tablets, 3 phones, 1 blu ray player, 2 tvs, and an xbox 360.....and no matter how many more devices I hook up, I still am limited to 16 megs at the cable modem...? I *wish* I had more speed, but until they scale my wired connection up by a factor of almost 20 my wireless is fine. Im sure it will happen, eventually, cause my cable has only taken 15 years to go from 1.5 megs to 16, hell 300 should be right around the corner...

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (2)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986941)

And you have never copied files from one device to the other. Amazing. Allow me to repeat myself:

Remember kids, "I can't use this" is not the same thing as "nobody can use this".

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (4, Funny)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987157)

And you have never copied files from one device to the other.

He does, he's just ultra paranoid and routes it all through TOR.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987563)

Shit, I transfer stuff from this computer to one three feet to my right via dropbox...and I'm talking gigs at a time.

Then again, my downstream speed tests at 56mbps, upstream is around 26, so why the hell not?

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (2)

loonwings (1519397) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987883)

I'm pretty sure Dropbox actually knows you're on a LAN and transfers stuff more directly than pc1>cloud>pc2.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (5, Insightful)

BStocknd (762377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986959)

Just because your internet is limited to 16mbit doesn't mean there's no advantage to faster wireless. The best example would be transferring files or watching HD videos over wireless from a local share. Not to mention there could be plenty of applications outside of personal use in your home. Think of large WDS meshes for example.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42986989)

The grandparent could have expressed it better, but I think the reference was to internal communication. You know - PC to NAS, Xbox to media centre, that sort of thing. Granted that the 'net is a bottleneck, but if communications don't need to go over the cable connection, faster wireless could be a very big benefit.

Now, that said, I'm planning on wiring my house up with CAT6e, but still - my Internet connection is only 20 or 30 Mbps, yet I'm still going to be doing it ...

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987033)

What is the limit between devices?

Broadcasting movies off of your Blue-Ray to a Tablet downstairs? Gaming between the desktops? Watching the game from your Cable TV on your portable device out on the deck, or by the pool?

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987265)

Watching the game from your Cable TV on your portable device out on the deck, or by the pool?

Oh man, you got a pool? Geez, I bet that's nice. I got a back yard full of snow.

I never get nice stuff.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987221)

Obviously, you lack imagination. The MODEM may be limited to 56k, FFS - but that doesn't stop your network from utilizing gigs of bandwidth for gaming, streaming, file transfers, etc within your own network.

Yes, I was still limited to 56k internet the first time I transferred an ISO file from one computer to another in less than a minute.

Having more speed and/or power available than you want or need is NEVER a "bad thing".

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987253)

but until they scale my wired connection up by a factor of almost 20 my wireless is fine.

Were you the guy saying "I'll never need more than 128k of RAM in my lifetime"?

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

HJED (1304957) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987361)

And you never need to transfer files or other data between these computers? You're cable modem should not limit that. This is more use for corporate networks and large events, though.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

cosm (1072588) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986819)

My router at home does N speeds of 300 megs and is attached to 16 meg cable, Do I really NEED to connect to my router at over 1 gig speeds if the cable modem it's connected to is still linked to the same half arsed, capped cable?

Enterprise wireless users transferring large files over the network? Large campus deployments serving wide areas? Not everybody uses the network just for the WAN pipe...though I get the feeling most people these days just take everything layer 7 and below for granted (i.e. "What, isn't the network just my cable plugged in?").

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986881)

Well granted, I scaled this down to my own usage when I posted this, but is it not the backbone providers claiming they are being saturated? I assume I can see where one localized wide area wireless network with +1 gigabit speeds might be useful, but how much extra are we really going to eek out of it over what we have now?

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (2)

cosm (1072588) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987045)

Well granted, I scaled this down to my own usage when I posted this, but is it not the backbone providers claiming they are being saturated? I assume I can see where one localized wide area wireless network with +1 gigabit speeds might be useful, but how much extra are we really going to eek out of it over what we have now?

Up to 700+ Mbps more? You're still restricting your vision to the WAN pipe. If I am a corporate user who moves large whatevers around between shares, the speeds 11ac offers are much welcomed. Yes of course your home internet downstream/upstream will see no substantive difference, but that isn't the point. The point is more and more devices on the WLAN in the home are needing more and more bandwidth availability (think streaming media servers and the like). Plus with more tablets, laptops, phones, toasters, whatever, the more bandwidth you have to your local L2 the better.

One side comment... if the switchport on 11ac bridges is still 1G, unless you've got multi-port bridges that can port-channel/LACP to an upstream aggregation switch, your total pool of bandwidth available to associated stations is still 1G shared to all devices on the bridge/AP.

In reference to your backbone providers comment, this issue has nothing to do with that. Backbone providers live in fiberland. Their last-mile connections to you will not see more traffic with 11ac deployed because the last-mile is already most consumer's bottleneck to the internet. If your WAN pipe was bigger than your wireless NICs negotiated pipe, and your wireless capabilities subsequently increased, then telcos would see increased link utilization, but this is not the case.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42986907)

My router at home does N speeds of 300 megs and is attached to 16 meg cable, Do I really NEED to connect to my router at over 1 gig speeds if the cable modem it's connected to is still linked to the same half arsed, capped cable?

You're making a few assumptions:
* that the only place bits can come from from are the Internet: some of like fast speeds between different home machines;
* you're also thinking as a single person: some households have many people (who may want faster speeds between different home machines);
* your thinking about "home": WiFi is used in places like offices, where people may want to copy files to/from file servers;
* said offices tend to have a lot of computers, so the faster some can copy said files, the sooner they can get off the network and let others use the channel

Perhaps 300 Mbps is fast enough for you. 56 Kbps used to be fast enough for a lot of folks Back In the Day(tm): but then someone thought up of DSL and DOCSIS, and the faster speeds allowed new uses. Perhaps 1 Gbps WiFi connections will spur some new thing that we haven't thought of yet, or it may simply be diminishing returns at this point. Who knows. Let's build it, and see if anyone comes.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42986923)

As a resident near Kansas City, it's fairly important to me.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986929)

1 gig speeds in the same room, make sure your lunch box isn't blocking the antenna.

Do you connect computer to computer? (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986981)

Then you may need more speed. Your N gets you more like 100mbps effective data rate (test it some time) since the WiFi speeds are displayed raw and there's a lot of overhead. Now that is 100mbps shared among all devices. So, if you connect to your router and it to a wired computer, no problem full bandwidth. However if you connect to another computer on WiFi, oh look, you guys are sharing. Have a bunch of computers on all accessing, that bandwidth starts to get spread thin.

If all you do is one computer to the Internet, then you are fine, for now at least. Otherwise? Yes, more bandwidth is good.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (2)

kuhnto (1904624) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986983)

Unfortunatly, no one can understand the possibilities of using new capabilities until they exist. (Please note, i am generalizng here), until wifi and the opening of 2.4 (worthless in the eyes of the FCC) spectrum did the explosion of wifi communication occur. Hopefully the same will happen with a new RF band such as the 5 ghz bAnd.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987035)

Is every single thing you do with a network connection between the device in front of you and the Internet?

I do all sorts of stuff with my home network.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987049)

you might want to stream HD video from a fileserver to other devices on your network.. Actually, most of the issue isn't the printed rated speed, but the power of the cpu.. most times, routed pkt rates are far lower, with many models dropping way below the ISP caps.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987125)

Yes, you do. It will come in extremely handy when you have 100 people over for a cook out, family reunion, wedding, whatever and they each have a device that wants to connect.

1 gig speeds might not be something useful in your future, but it certainly can be useful to others.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987555)

I don't need gig speeds, but I certainly need N...when running speed tests I've broken 56mbps. To the open internet, on wifi. I no longer think about what I might like to download for tomorrow or two days from now; it's now only about what I want to download for ten minutes from now. And it is awesome.

Re:Why is there a wi-fi crisis? (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987649)

That depends, were you hoping to stream HD movies from the server downstairs to your laptop? Perhaps the kids/wife/ whoever in your house wants to watch a different movie at the same time.

Some people move a lot of data on their LAN without ever touching the internet.

I am so illiterate (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about a year and a half ago | (#42986801)

I see a techy subject and read it instantly as Carmackers...

needed because? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42986973)

I don't see how gb+ wireless is needed. Sure I welcome any spectrum opening up from private/corporate control but the "oh just use wireless" mentality really bugs me. Wirelessly connecting devices that are inherently portable are ok but things that don't move should be wired and should stop polluting the airwaves. Things that should be wired, but usually aren't, include Xbox, ps3, boxes, roku, etc.

Show me the money (3, Interesting)

goodmanj (234846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987023)

I'm one of those pinko liberal democrats. But where electromagnetic spectrum is concerned, I'm as mercenary as they come.

If car makers want spectrum, they can buy it just like everybody else. The FCC should put the entire radio spectrum up for sale to the highest bidder on a rotating 10-year cycle, nothing exempt except for a few bands set aside for emergency services, military, and scientific use.

FM radio, TV, taxicabs, ham radio, I don't care: if you want exclusive use of a slice of spectrum, you form a coalition of like-minded people willing to pay for it. If somebody else wants to pay more, go find a better business model.

Re:Show me the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987109)

this is for safety, dumbass. It's for vehicle to vehicle communications.

Re:Show me the money (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987281)

this is for safety, dumbass. It's for vehicle to vehicle communications.

Yeah, dumbass, it's for the children!

It's for your own safety. Because the only way to make you safe is if the car makers can talk to your car, and more important, your car can talk to them.

And because why should you get something for free when a big corporation can get something for free?

Re:Show me the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987693)

no, retard, it's so the cars can talk to each other, broadcasting rate and position and intent, so that they can, you know, not run into each other, and slow down before they cause a traffic jam instead of jamming on the brakes. I suppose you also think we should "liberate" the spectrum used by those evil aircraft manufacturers for transponders. They didn't pay for that spectrum. And they're clearly using the data to get rich. You're even stupider then the retards who vote Tea Party and chant "starve the beast". i

Oh yeah, fucktard, where do cars rank in the list of killers in the western world?

Re:Show me the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987641)

which less than 0.001% of cars support, and wont support for another 20 years if you go by the auto makers theory of needing a new car every 4 years

dumbass

Re:Show me the money (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987141)

10 years is too short. Look at all the aggravation of moving a few TV channels around.

Also look at the technical hacks involved in maintaining backward compatibility in HD radio now and color TV back in the day. Breaking everybodies hardware on a ten year cycle is a non-starter.

Re:Show me the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987241)

Rotating so that you could break up spectrum into 10 parts and have each section a 100 year lease.

Re:Show me the money (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987359)

10 years is too short. Look at all the aggravation of moving a few TV channels around.

What aggravation? I would imagine most TV channels would bid higher for their existing channel to avoid the cost of switching, while a new channel or service would buy whatever's cheapest: as a result, there wouldn't be any "channel churn": the poorest old station would be replaced by a newcomer, and everyone else would continue as usual.

And while I'm no expert on TV technology, I strongly suspect that most VHF broadcast channels could switch to another VHF channel with the push of a button. (UHF might require a new antenna and equipment.)

And finally, this whole idea of fixed channels at fixed frequencies is a 20th-century legacy. In the 21st, all we care about is bandwidth, the rest is a software problem. Here's what you do: the would FCC broadcast a frequency map on a dedicated band. Yesterday, "Channel 4" was at 66 Mhz, but today it's at 82 Mhz. You don't care, you just hit the "4" on your remote control, and your TV's firmware uses the frequency map to figure out the rest.

Re:Show me the money (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987619)

You obviously don't know anything about radio. Switching frequencies within a band requires an entirely new antenna construction for any efficiency at the kind of power commercial broadcasting uses. It's not a software problem at all.

The approximate wavelength of 66MHz is 4.5 meters, while it's 3.6 meters for 82MHz. That requires lopping about 20% off of the top of the antenna, or else adding enough to bring it up to the next efficient multiple of the new wavelength. You must have seen commercial broadcast masts before - 20% is a lot of antenna. Plus, for the kind of power commercial broadcasters use, you'd probably need to replace a lot of components of the transmitter itself since they're pretty carefully tuned to the frequency. It could easily cost about $50k just for that (not including the tower work), even for a not-so-big TV station.

Finally, the differences in propagation even of the two relatively close frequencies you mention make it likely that a lot of people would go from decent TV reception to none at all.

Thankfully nobody at the FCC is taking this kind of advice. Frequency allocations are - on the whole - done pretty carefully. When they seem slow and stuffy, it's usually for a reason [slashdot.org]

Re:Show me the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987523)

And what, exactly, are the advantages of this proposal? Why should large moneyed interests be able to prevent me from sending certain electromagnetic signals, just because they have more money?

The alleged goal of the FCC allocation of the spectrum is to serve the public interest. That's better than serving the interests of wealthy corporations.

You may protest that the FCC does a poor job at serving the public interest, because large moneyed interests are bribing it to subvert the public interest. If so, your proposal doesn't fix the problem. It merely makes the bribery legal.

Re:Show me the money (1)

stoploss (2842505) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987709)

The FCC should put the entire radio spectrum up for sale to the highest bidder on a rotating 10-year cycle, nothing exempt except for a few bands set aside for emergency services, military, and scientific use.

So, who exactly is going to bid on making part of the spectrum unlicensed and then pay to allocate it for nonexclusive use? Or does the current 2.4 & 5 GHz unlicensed spectra for WiFi/"whatever the hell anyone wants to use it for" count under one of those exemptions you list? None of them seem applicable to me.

I'm one of those pinko liberal democrats. But where electromagnetic spectrum is concerned, I'm as mercenary as they come.

I'm therefore surprised you didn't come out in strong support of a public commons of unlicensed spectra. You talked about selling off this spectrum for exclusive access, but you didn't mention the option of not selling it at all.

I like the fact that we have all these gadgets playing together (and yes, sometimes interfering) in unlicensed spectra. How many of these things wouldn't exist if their inventor/manufacturer had to purchase expensive exclusive access frequency because no public commons existed?

Your argument seems analogous to advocating preventing city planners from allocating space for a public park and arguing that citizens who really want a park will just band together and buy the real estate to make one. Who cares if the local landfill cartel can outbid the neighborhood park boosters?

Re:Show me the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987887)

Might I add that if this was the way things ran, then there would be nothing stopping AT&T or Comcast or whomever to buy ALL the spectrum and sell chips at 500 dollars a pop for every wireless link in the country.

Re:Show me the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987737)

I'm one of those pinko liberal democrats. But where electromagnetic spectrum is concerned, I'm as mercenary as they come.

No, you're just unprincipled. Unfortunately for you, others are also unprincipled and don't share your inconsistent personal preferences.

There was a time when this country was run by men of principle - around 1789 - but that time has passed and now we are a democracy subject to mob rule without regard to principles, or reason.

You made your bed; now lie in it.

Re:Show me the money (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987865)

Ham is for public safety actually. You may want to keep that one free because you may need a ham someday. Really...

Re:Show me the money (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about a year and a half ago | (#42987891)

ham radio

"In the Bridgeport area, also struck hard by Hurricane Sandy, members of the Greater Bridgeport Amateur Radio Club were called into action.

John Russo, GBARC president, tells Examiner.com that 25 volunteers were deployed over the course of a week, assisting the Bridgeport, Stratford and Red Cross operation centers.

Hams also provided information to help FEMA with damage assessments, he said."

- http://www.examiner.com/article/ham-radio-s-response-to-hurricane-sandy-is-reviewed-and-praised [examiner.com]

Forming coalitions and raising funds in a disaster area is difficult, you ignorant motherfucker.

A very simple solution: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42987287)

Instead of using wifi, legalize slavery and have your slaves transfer the data from Point A to Point B with portable hard drives. Simple. Easy. Clean. Free.

And if the data gets lost, you can torture and/or kill your worthless negro.

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