If the U.S. taxpayer spends this much money on expanding telecom infrastructure or delivering free or low cost Internet it makes sense for the assets to be nationalized. Taxpayers got fleeced by TARP and the billion dollar bailout of Wall St. firms.
If the American people spend this much money on telecom assets it should take ownership of what its buying.
Intel is like a WiMAX hammer and everything they see is a nail.
Broadband for all American's is a desirable goal but the issues are more complex than just throwing Intel's homegrown flavor of wireless at the problem.
Cable companies and telco's can already reach roughly 90% of households with broadband already so the issue for Americans without broadband is affordability, not availability of service.
For very remote areas of the country satellite Internet can reach users efficiently and wireless has a role to play also. But the type of wireless most able to reach the long distances of rural areas is fixed access with outdoor antennas. Instead Intel is focused on mobile broadband and HDTV demos to tech junkies driving 60mph in their cars.
Intel needs to understand there's no national mandate for providing taxpayer subsidized mobile YouTube and there efforts to hype WiMAX in Washington is nothing more than a plea for a federal bailout for their hemorraghing investment in CLWR.
I differ with you about the mandate. One can easily make the case for mobile WiMAX based upon a National security need. Just as Eisenhower first built the Interstate system based on what he say of the German Autobahn, and the perceived need to move equipment efficiently throughout the country, we too can benefit from having a nationwide highspeed mobile internet capability. The ability of first responders to communicate effectively in an emergency is well within the capabilities of such a system. Just look how crappy the 911 communications systems worked.
I would agree that there was way to much emphasis on cyber bimbos at this year's Intel booth (the so called Intel Insiders) CES and the though of enabling more twittering and tubing pretty much leaves me speechless. But I don't much like your shortsighted characterization of the application of technology to transportation. For example, enabling energy conservation by rerouting traffic, and providing drivers advisories in WiMAX enabled vehicles is well within the reach of such technology and can have a very positive impact on our transportation needs. As another example of the use of WiMAX as a public service, if I were in a car wreck in rural Iowa, I would greatly appreciate the EMT's being able to send my vitals to an ER physician in real time. First responders and other public service folks as well as the general public, will greatly benefit from this capability.
Coincidentilly, there was at least one good panel discussion at CES about modernizing the automobile industry with built in computers (see: http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/01/09/ces.cars.computers/index.html ) but for the life of me, I cannot understand why Intel was not part of this discussion. At a time when this industry has been one of the primary topics of this economic downturn, and with the Detroit Autoshow scheduled immenently after CES, why was there not more coverage of this?
Webcams and smartphones are the topic du jour yet the are as stale and lacking in innovation as anything I've seen in the past five years. Revolutionizing the transportation industry could be the most significant opportunity for a solid economic recovery and yet Intel seems to be virtually oblivious to it.
I sincerely hope that whomever the nominee for the Federal CTO position is, that he or she partners closely with the Secretary of transportation to make this a priority.
Same old song and dance as the Digital Cities initiative. What we really need is DIGITAL HIGHWAYS. We need to roll out WiMax to the interstate system and enable information to feed truckers, EMT's and other public service folks with realtime data. Consumers will benefit from having up to date road information, access to road services like hotel availability and other services, and a variety of other business that would spring up around such offerings.
Any major highway infrastructure program should include Mobile WiMax IMHO. Intel will sell a boat load of processors for the servers tha feed such a network, the devices in cars and trucks that receive the signals (detachable MIDs for example), and a variety of other means. Digital cities is an old idea and simply competes with exisiting broadband offerings already out there.