Monday, November 2, 2009

WCAI Recommends FCC Establish a Pervasive Computing Test Bed

The Internet today is broadband, mobility, and social networking. The Internet of the future will be pervasive computing with access to broadband everywhere. WCAI today asked the FCC to make the transition to pervasive computing environment a primary goal of the nation’s broadband plan.

To achieve this goal, WCAI recommends that the FCC’s national broadband plan establish a city-wide computing test bed to enable experimental research in pervasive computing. The alternative is to risk falling behind nations like Korea, who are developing large-scale pervasive computing test beds today. A city-wide test bed in the United States would spur the development of pervasive computing by providing a locus for collaboration between researches, industry, and government – all of whom will likely be necessary to evolve our current computing paradigm to pervasive computing and reestablish America’s leadership in information technology.

Pervasive computing turns anything in our environment, including the human body, into a networked resource. Information is being generated everywhere, all the time, but usually without a means of collecting and using it. With pervasive computing enabled by ubiquitous wireless networks, this information can be collected and disseminated in real-time seamlessly and unobtrusively. Such capabilities will be essential to supporting the various purposes envisioned by the national broadband plan, including health case, energy, and education.

As WCAI noted in its initial comments in the national broadband plan proceeding, pervasive computing capabilities have been largely unprecedented in the broadband policy debate. This should change if the United States is to be at the forefront of broadband and computing. Developing a large-scale pervasive computing test bed would help ensure that the United States accomplishes those goals.

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