Into the Nitty Gritty Of WiMax

The whole point of the internet has been to open things up but, paradoxically, the way people have so far accessed that same internet has been a closed system. WiMax promises to bring openness to the access point itself.

The whole idea of old companies getting washed away, and new companies coming to occupy center stage, old industries disappearing and new ones emerging, old markets evaporating off and new markets getting created, old jobs getting lost and new ones created, that whole churn is an essential vitality of the market mechanism. Change is inevitable, change is desirable. As to what change, and how much, it is ultimately for the customer to decide in a marketplace that is not otherwise distorted. Daring entrepreneurs and dedicated public servants in political offices have the option to forge new partnerships to make sure the consumer is made supreme and stays supreme. There is that futuristic, visionary crown that every cutting edge company wears, and in that zone it is more about ideas and less about the heat of the immediate market, but ultimately that heat has to be faced.

WiMax, in essence, is a challenge to the market mechanism and democracy itself. Will the public servants be there for the public? That question is going to loom large in a very basic way. Because WiMax turns internet access into "roads." At that point it is no longer Cable TV, but more like public television. There will still be alternative ways to access the internet, and niche markets where the private sector runs the show and makes money, but the mainstream way of people coming online is surefootedly headed into the public domain.

Once that achievement is made, it will be a fundamental departure, not only in a major collective boost in productivity, but in many other ways. Society speeds up. Social progress speeds up. It truly is one global village at that point.

Intel has said WiMax is the biggest thing to happen to the internet since the internet itself. I buy into that assertion.

Ubiquitous broadband redefines home, work and school, three of the fundamental social institutions. The ramifications are many. Lifelong education, for one, like an uncut umbilical chord, at that point can be taken for granted.

If the impact on the American scene is to be astounding, that at the global scale is to be mind-blowing. The vision of connecting every human mind to the web stands to be realized. That internet access will be like having invented money for the first time and introduced into the social domain: then it takes a life of its own, and becomes a permanent fixture of the mental landscape, like a mountain, or an island, or a cockroach. We no longer think of it as our creation, but very much a gem of the natural landscape.

At that point, internet acces is like plumbing. The interest is in the water: the plumbing should stay out of sight.

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| Daily Wireless | WNN | Mobile Mesh | Wireless Unleashed | Google | WiMaxBlog |

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