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Geoff Daily

App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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December 22, 2008 12:53 PM

Wireless Equals Extension Cord

Not a lot of time for long posts this week as I'm on the road and devoting most of my free time to our Rural Fiber Fund Working Group discussions (which are going GREAT!), but wanted to pass along this interesting analogy.

In chatting with Donny Smith of Jaguar Communications, a fiber deployer in southwestern Minnesota, he shared the idea that we need to consider wireless like an extension cord.

You wouldn't want to power your house with an extension cord; you need something that's more reliable and has more capacity.

But at the same time extension cords are essentially to getting power wherever you need it, which is the same role wireless plays in getting connectivity everywhere.

I really think this is the perfect way to think about things, putting a more concrete sense of what mobility means relative to wireless connectivity and clearly contrasting the capacity of wireless vs. wireline.

There's also another level of imagery when you think about the problems of trying to connect too many extension cords to the same outlet: it can get easily overloaded and result in big problems.

So it begs the question of what do we want for our country? Too many extension cords plugged into not enough outlets providing the illusion of having power/connectivity everywhere but without the capacity to handle all of our needs. Or having enough outlets for all our needs and only using extension cords to fill in the gaps between those outlets.

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