Google says the US government is ignoring a precious natural resource. And no, the search giant obviously isn't talking about oil. Google, along with other big companies, wants the US government to open up unused air waves. The company says this could lead to people across the country surfing the Web on handheld devices at gigabits-per-second speeds.
Google, Microsoft and others have been petitioning the FCC to free up the unsed portion of the spectrum—known as white space—for some time now, but the company filed a six page letter late last week that makes its intentions, and the potential effects of its plan, much clearer. Now Google says this freeing of the airwaves would enable people all over the U.S. to cheaply and easily access the Internet through small handheld devices by the end of next year. Here's an excerpt from the company's letter to the government:
"As Google has pointed out previously, the vast majority of viable spectrum in this country simply goes unused, or else is grossly under-utilized. Unlike other natural resources, there is no benefit to allowing this spectrum to lie fallow."
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.