The American Council of Mayors and Urban Managers voted Friday to lobby the U.S. Congress in support of pending legislation that will render illegal 802.11b/g Wi-Fi networks, paving the way for widespread development of the much faster 802.16 WiMAX networking protocol.
The broad support from the nation’s urban leaders took the computer and telecommunications industries by surprise. Most technologists expected the legislation to die in committee, after being supported by only a few House members, all of which are from rural areas.
As the law reads, both commercial and residential Wi-Fi networks will be rendered illegal, reportedly to clear a broad path through the 2.4GHz radio spectrum. Most networks that I have helped to install in the last two years have either been fully wireless (Wi-Fi) or included a Wi-Fi subnet.
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