FCC warns of iPad-led wireless network overload
In a blog posting on the body’s official Broadband.gov site, the FCC’s Director of Scenario Planning Phil Bellaria, and John Leibovitz, Deputy Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, warn that the iPad and other future devices like it could lead to network congestion. Comparing the current situation in which data-hungry mobile devices are becoming increasingly common to the rise of Internet access demands in the late 1990s, particularly those faced by AOL after announcing unlimited dial-up access in 1996, Bellaria and Leibovitz note that “[w]idespread use of smartphones, 3G-enabled netbooks, and now, perhaps, the iPad and its competitors demonstrate that wireless broadband will be a hugely important part of the broadband ecosystem as we move ahead.” Continuing the comparison and noting that AOL was eventually able to resolve its problems with network and backbone upgrades, the pair conclude that “[w]ith the iPad pointing to even greater demand for mobile broadband on the horizon, we must ensure that network congestion doesn’t choke off a service that consumers clearly find so appealing or frustrate mobile broadband’s ability to keep us competitive in the global broadband economy.”
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