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WiFi in All U.S. Federal Buildings

Legislation has been introduced in the US that will require all public federal buildings to install WiFi base stations in order to free up cell phone networks.

The Federal Wi-Net Act would mandate the installation of small WiFi base stations in all publicly accessible federal buildings in order to increase wireless coverage and free up mobile networks. The bill would require all new buildings under construction to comply and all older buildings to be retrofitted by 2014. It also orders $15 million from the Federal Buildings Fund be allocated to fund the installations.

The bill is aimed at preventing dropped calls that occur indoors and in rural areas due to poor cell phone coverage, while also boosting wireless network capacity by more effectively deploying broadband wireless networks.

With over 276 million wireless subscribers across the US and growing demand for wireless broadband, it is imperative that steps are taken to improve wireless communication capacity, and this legislation will make measurable progress towards that.

The Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan argues most smartphones sold today have Wi-Fi capabilities, so installing mini-base stations and Wi-Fi hotspots in federal buildings would improve indoor cell phone coverage and increase wireless network capacity.

By Paul Budde, Managing Director of Paul Budde Communication

Paul is also a contributor of the Paul Budde Communication blog located here.

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Gross oversimplification Frank Bulk  –  Dec 9, 2010 6:53 AM

Very few carriers support UMA, and TMO is the only major one.  It’s not as if just because the federal gov’t installs APs (of unknown quality to support VoWLAN) that handset vendors and carriers are going to iron out all the wrinkles and make it work.

Let’s the tech guys take care of facilitating good mobile voice.

Agreed Paul Budde  –  Dec 9, 2010 6:57 AM

Hi Frank, I agree with you. I am simply stating the facts here but agree that it will be very interesting to see what they are actually going to do and how they will implement this and if indeed this is the right way forwards. In the wake of Wikileaks perhaps an other has now been added to this initiative :) Paul

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