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October 06, 2006

Online on the Road

Fellow nerd and My Way Network blogger Terry Gold is making his car into an online computing environment.  The car computer gets its connectivity through a Verizon EVDO card (which I also use) and a KR1 Mobile Router (gotta get one) which has both Ethernet and WiFi ports to keep all fellow travelers connected.

But what caught my eye in his latest post was that Terry uses his mobile Internet connection for listening to Internet radio while driving.  Of course, Terry could also use this connection to listen to any one of the increasing number of on-the-air stations which also stream their broadcast content on the Internet.

Why would he want to do that?  Maybe because the “radio” station he wants to listen to isn’t local to where he is. Maybe because the signal from the radio station isn’t good where he is but the Internet connectivity is acceptable. Maybe because he wants to use the feature of his onboard software which searches for particular artists across available stations. And maybe because he can get better fidelity through the Internet connection.

I accomplish a fraction of the above with XM satellite radio (which doesn’t have universal coverage). But, I’d really rather have one Internet connection than a proliferation of dedicated frequencies including AM band, FM band, and now the frequency used by XM.  All of which reinforces my new preconception that we will evolve away from frequencies dedicated to specific content owners to a much broader swatch of open spectrum used to provide Internet access under a variety of circumstances.

In this nirvana, we will almost always be online.  All content available when we’re stationary will be available when we’re moving. Anything available when we’re tethered will be available when we’re unwired.  “Anything” includes what we now call television as well as radio, information, video and voice communication.

I posted that Internet 2.0 is Open Spectrum and that We Do Need a Gigabit Over the Air.

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