What public Wi-Fi means for video conferencing technology

Monday, September 23 2013
What public Wi-Fi means for video conferencing technology


Video conferencing technology has come a long way since its inception. During the early days, holding a remote meeting was something of a nightmare. First, hardware settings would have to be optimized and then everyone would have to gather in the same room because there wasn't enough money to install multiple webcams in the office.

The second problem was businesses needed the strongest possible Internet connection to use their business communications software for even the briefest amount of time.

The latter issue hasn't been a concern for a while thanks to recent technological improvements. For one, the best collaboration software allows users to conduct digital meetings on smartphones and tablets via cellular networks. This is quick and convenient, but there's always the slight possibility that the connection will drop and the conference will get cut short. Turns out the one entity that no one ever expects to do anything useful might actually prevent that from ever happening again.

That's right, the government has plans to help people out for once.

The Washington Post recently reported that the Federal Communications Commission wants to create a public Wi-Fi network that would give everyone Internet access. The most impressive part is that the federal agency is pushing to develop a connection that's much stronger than anything that's currently available.

Unsurprisingly, the wireless industry doesn't want this to happen. But then again, if your sector was making $178 billion, you probably wouldn't want the government to start meddling either.

But few people care what the industry wants. The news source notes that cities are backing the idea because free Internet would help schools and businesses. Additionally, Google decided it's not going to wait around for the FCC - the company is already providing Wi-Fi in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood and Silicon Valley.

What this means for business communications
While Eminem once complained that "the FCC won't let me be or let me be me," it's hard to find fault with organization's Wi-Fi initiative.

From a business perspective, this would be amazing. Instead of having to shell out thousands of dollars to a service provider every year, companies could use the government's system to go online. This will be particularly beneficial for startups that need to make every penny count.

As for business communications, free Wi-Fi is a dream come true. If the FCC is successful, professionals can hold video conferences from anywhere on any device and not have to worry about poor service.