A day after the announcement that Google, Goldman and Hearst are investing $100 million in Current Communications BPL, Sprint announced that it will begin offering wireless broadband at speeds comparable to wired broadband to half the U.S. by the end of the year. Sprint's system is being built to rival Verizon's wireless broadband system that currently serves dozens of cities and expects to reach half of the country by year's end.
This type of wireless broadband offering by cell phone companies comes at a time when alternatives to DSL and cable high-speed are becoming increasingly prevalent. Wi-Fi has been the dominant wireless solution, but is technologically inferior to newer solutions that are increasing in popularity, such as EV-DO, 3G HSDPA (wireless broadband technology offered by Cingular), and WiMax. In light of the increasing interest by municipalities to invest in city-owned Wi-Fi or fiber networks, it is encouraging to see private companies focusing on new technologies while the prices of standards such as DSL and cable have continued to fall in the wake of competition. With any luck, private industry and superior technology will win out over municipal involvement in an already competitive and ever-evolving market for Internet connectivity.