Do you have high-speed Internet access at your office, but at home are still one of many who rely on dial-up? You’re not alone (even if that number is shrinking), and this makes it very hard to have a reliable home office in the era of the information super highway whilst you’re still essentially driving down the dirt road. Leaders in Washington are hoping to resolve this problem and the FCC is working to deliver access to affordable high-speed Internet.
One solution is third generation mobile broadband (3G), which is now available to 60 percent of the nation. To get to the other 40 percent, the FCC has a plan that would auction 500 megahertz of new spectrum, but the problem there is that those airwaves are already being used by TV broadcasters for their digital signals. Remember that change over from analog to digital TV last year? Well, about 10 percent of Americans are still getting TV from over-the-air signals and the FCC could take back some of that spectrum. For those without cable TV or a satellite dish or TV through a phone company this could mean fewer channels are available – for anyone using a 3G phone it could mean fewer dropped calls and more reliable broadband. With WiMAX and other 4G solutions still up in the air, taking back some of the airwaves could be the best way to get mobile broadband going. Just don’t expect this to happen anytime soon, for the FCC to auction off the spectrum could end up being a battle as big as the digital TV transition last year!
AT&T Small Business Study
This week AT&T released new survey data on how much smaller businesses are currently spending on technology, and the usages of this technology. The carrier found that about 65 percent of businesses are spending more or about the small on technology, even in this gloomy economic climate.
More interesting, the same number of small businesses reported that wireless technology is crucial to their survival today, and that they could not survive or would have a major time surviving without wireless. Smartphones are also being heavily used by small businesses, with 81 percent reporting that they use smartphones, including an iPhone, BlackBerry or Treo – and given that at this point AT&T is still the exclusive carrier, it isn’t a surprise about the iPhone.
New businesses also rely on wireless more than more established small businesses, as 53 percent of those less than two years old rely on wireless much more than those 10 years or older, where only 38 percent of businesses claimed to rely on mobile.
Smartphones on the Rise, And Business Users Doing the Research
Those findings about 81 percent of small businesses using smartphones is not a surprise either, and that number seems to be growing. Plus, it seems that smartphones are not an impulse purchase for business users. According to a study from Google’s technology group, searches for smartphones rose 35 percent in the first quarter of this year (which doesn’t end for another two weeks).