The Federal Communications Commission is said to be considering a plan that would buy back some frequencies from television stations and use those frequencies to give the country free and ubiquitous "super-WiFi." That sounds amazing. Obviously, the companies providing non-free, non-ubiquitous "ordinary-WiFi" are pretty set against the whole thing. Thankfully, companies like Google and Microsoft want to see this happen. It's just a matter of which giant companies bully the FCC into bending to their will.
Rice University has issued a statement saying that Leticia Aguirre, a 48-year old Houston grandmother, is the nation's first user of "Super WiFi" technology. The technology has been in the works for some time and promises to better access to users in the future. Aguirre was already receiving Internet service through a community WiFi network that covered three miles, but apparently never received adequate access since she lived on the edge fo the network. This made her the perfect candidate for Super WiFi, since the technology is meant to provide more coverage than traditional WiFi.
For as long as Wi-Fi has been around, its proponents have wanted to make it better, faster, and longer-range, but that process has been complicated by the physical realities of the radio standard: Current U.S. regulations limit its transmission to the 2.4 GHz band. (Gizmodo explains this further in a nifty article on why so many wireless gadgets are clustered at 2.4 GHz.) But after September 23rd, that may change: On that date, the FCC plans to vote on a set of rules allowing for a "super Wi-Fi" that's transmitted over the unused airwaves between broadcast television channels and which could potentially "travel several miles and deliver Internet speeds ranging from 15 to 20 megabits per second – as fast as a cable modem."