WASHINGTON, July 2, 2013 - The Institute for Local Self-Reliance released a fact sheet describing the basic principles behind wireless internet technology and policy on June 17.
The fact sheet defines the basic terminology associated with wireless internet such as fixed wireless and data caps. It describes the differences between licensed and unlicensed spectrum and breaks down certain types of licensed spectrum, such as 3G, 4G and Long Term Evolution (LTE).
The Institute’s fact sheet also works to dispel certain misconceptions about wireless, such as the common but incorrect use of the terms “wireless” and “Wi-Fi” interchangeably. The Minneapolis-based non-profit organization promotes community-based approaches to telecommunications and broadband infrastructure.
The fact sheet also describes the concept of data caps on wireless networks. It briefly discusses the conflict between carriers and consumers over whether the caps are put in place to reduce congestion or to raise revenue.
Speeds of multiple types of wireless connections as well as cable are also displayed. In both upload and download speeds, cable was generally superior to wireless, although 4G in some instances may surpass cable in upload speeds.
The fact sheet conveys ILSR’s view that wireless networks alone are not sufficient in providing broadband coverage. In addition to the general speed deficiency when compared to cable, the fact sheet highlight the need for fiber backhaul to support wireless networks, the problem of physical objects blocking wireless signals, the latency and high cost of satellite internet service, and the issue of spectrum congestion.
The institute designed the sheet to help educate both consumers and policy makers in making their decisions.