South Carolina is studying a statewide wireless program which would utilize 700 Mhz spectrum. Unlike muni wireless programs that are quickly falling out of favor, South Carolina’s plan offers some distinct differences. First and foremost, unlike muni wireless projects that often utilize unstable and spotty Wi-Fi technology, South Carolina is eyeing state owned “beachfront” 700 Mhz spectrum. The spectrum will come from the state’s public broadcasting network, ETV. Secondly, they are considering leasing the spectrum to the private sector, as opposed to partnering with a single provider. In other words, South Carolina is saying the state will own the spectrum, but make it available to appropriate carriers or other entities, who will in turn market wireless broadband throughout the state.
It’s an interesting approach – one that could potentially provide wireless broadband in territories that currently lack it, and perhaps foster competition throughout the entire state. Many details of this proposal have yet to be determined. There will certainly be controversial issues, with passionate arguments for and against a potential plan. But it’s an intriguing proposal – one that should be studied and possibly incubated.
Check out the details in this Greenville Online story.