The Wall Street Journal is reporting that several tech companies are planning to announce a coalition called WifiForward today. The group will “add heft” to lobbying in Washington for increased WiFi airwaves, and aim to expand access to the wireless networks that permeate so many daily lives.
When the coalition will be announced wasn’t specified, though it could come any time now, if the rumor is correct. The tech companies comprising it include Comcast and Time Warner Cable (which are set to merge), as well as Charter Communications, Microsoft, Google, Motorola, and possibly more.
The coalition’s companies have been lobbying for increased spectrum for unlicensed purposes; by making more spectrum available, additional WiFi availability will help ease up on congestion and take some load off of data networks. Data networks costs have also been cited as a reason, with WiFi proving less of a financial burden.
Says the Wall Street Journal, AT&T and Verizon aren’t amongst the tech companies forming the WifiForward coalition, reason being concern that with expanded WiFi coverage will come decreased plan updates to subscriptions with higher data rates. As the WSJ points out, AT&T’s Randall Stephenson said back in December, “We are now at a place where the pricing is right, LTE is performing very, very well, and you want to drive utilization of these networks.”
SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal