Google, Microsoft and more prepare to take Wi-Fi fight to Washington
13th Feb 2014 | 21:20
With multiple cable companies in tow
The need for more Wi-Fi is spurring a motley crew of the biggest US cable and technology companies to come together in an unlikely mash-up.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the newly paired Comcast and Time Warner Cable will team up with Charter Communications, Microsoft and Google, and together they plan to launch a coalition called "WifiForward" asking for more public access to Wi-Fi.
The companies supposedly plan to demand an increase of more unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi usage from the government.
The call for more Wi-Fi bandwidth is a pre-emptive move ahead of the inevitable network congestion imminent as more devices join the airwaves.
By the numbers
Last year Cisco systems accounted that the average US mobile user ate up 1.4 gigabytes of data month. Even with the wide spread availability of LTE, 57% of all that data usage is still carried over Wi-Fi.
Most smartphone users still switch their phones over to Wi-Fi every chance they can get so as not to eat up precious and expensive data minutes. Cisco believes this number will only continue to go up in the coming years.
The lobbying companies are particularly interested in expanding Wi-Fi channels so more users can Google and Bing wherever they are.
Google for one has been fighting a battle of its own outside of Congress - like when it partnered with Starbucks to add more high speed Wi-Fi around the nation.
Meanwhile, thanks to today's big cable company merger, many more Comcast subscribers will soon be able to stream with the Xfinity app using Time Warner's 30,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.
If the big tech companies come out of their lobbying movement with a victory, we'll be sure to let you know.
- More Wi-Fi is great and all, but here's a guide on testing and maximizing your internet speed.