Broadband aid (do they know it’s Christmas)

Re-reading yesterday’s post, I hope it wasn’t too close to a law firm client update – that is not being the point of this blog. I thought I’d try to redress the balance today, and as I drove from London to Exmoor for Christmas, with the snow by the side of the road steadily increasing, I once again found inspiration in 1980s music. It being that time of the year, the radio was playing back-to-back Christmas songs. Hearing Band Aid again reminded me both how if the cause is good enough how a bad song can become a hit as well as the importance of wireless to bridge the digital divide in the developing world.

Whilst the connection may not be immediately obvious, the macro-economic benefits of a connected society seem as important over the long-run as helping with short-term crises. It is clear that for many developing countries they have leap-frogged wired voice to mobile voice. Without a copper (or other fixed network in situ) that can be repurposed for some variant of DSL, then some type of wireless solution is likely to be answer for enabling broadband connectivity.

As with many industry debates, the proponents of LTE and WiMax will each tell you about the respective benefits of their technology without necessarily highlighting that the two approaches are more similar than might be supposed. It is a shame that there is not more common ground, but the availability of spectrum for wireless (but not necessarily mobile) broadband is a common shared interest.

However, the signs are encouraging. Governments do seem to get the point and even over the last year more and more spectrum is being made available. With investment into both developing countries and infrastructure increasing, my Christmas wish is that we will see an increasingly connected world.