I came upon this hundred-year old magazine article in which Guglielmo Marconi predicts that wireless will bring wonderful things, including wireless lighting, heating and transmission of motor power. He echos Tesla’s prediction of wireless power transmission a decade earlier.
Today we read more subdued yet equally naieve predictions about wireless. The authors forget the laws of physics, that RF spectrum is a limited resource, and that since 1948 Claude Shannon’s information theory defines exactly how much information we can squeeze into one radio signal. Many of the recent utopian predictions for wireless have failed to come true, for both technical and political reasons. Many municipal Wi-Fi systems have failed because it’s impossible to squeeze a gallon of information into a pint-size jar.
I wonder how much of the 2009 Broadband Initiative money was spent on failed “shovel ready” municipal Wi-Fi systems?
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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695