Mayor's Counsel Maya Wiley throws a monkey wrench at 3GPP, IEEE, and FCC. 7500 free gigabit Wi-Fi kiosks are sprouting around New York City. The city expects they will allow many unconnected New Yorkers to go online, despite the high prices of Verizon and the cable guys.
Why buy an expensive wireless plan if you can connect via WiFi in home, office, and most of the city? Playing defense, Verizon has mounted a multi-million dollar campaign to divert much of the WiFi spectrum to the four big wireless carriers. The carriers could easily absorb half the Wi-Fi bandwidth using the wide 40 MHz channels. Counsel Wiley writes:
"New York City is committed to ensuring digital inclusion of all our residents, no matter their zip code or income. … Therefore, the city has embarked on an aggressive effort to achieve universal broadband for all New Yorker. … WiFi is a central part of this effort and any technological interference with our ability to deliver free and affordable wireless access to our residents is of grave concern.
"Even a modest loss of coverage for a WiFi hotspot, when multiplied and magnified over the scale of New York City, could affect millions of users daily and decrease the value of hundreds of millions of dollars of public and private investment. WiFi is the most available and affordable wireless broadband technology. Clearly, any threat to Wi-Fi is a threat to the very fabric of the city."
Full letter below or at the IEEE. The most immediate change indicated is to protect weak signals from interference. Details.