Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wi-Fi Turns 25... and I feel old

Last week there was a great article by Peggy Albright covering 25 years of Wi-Fi. I guess 25 years ago, the FCC made a decision to open up three spectrum bands, 900 mHz, 2.4 gHz, and 5.8 gHz with little oversite other than to suggest that devices 'play nice with others'. These three sandboxes were opened up for entrepreneurs to create the future.

Wi-Fi, Cordless phones, Bluetooth and certainly many other products/technologies have flourished in the unlicensed playspace. Entire industries have formed based on the availability of the spectrum, and organizations have developed specifically to sheppard the tenant of 'playing nice with others' into an impressive range of innovations and specifications that have resulted in products that actually work together.

I could wax on about the wonders of Wi-Fi or the importance of local wireless networks, but it dawns on me that perhaps the most important lesson to take away from this is that, given the right set of circumstances, human creativity is nearly unstoppable.

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