US Government Fears iPad, iPhone and Other Data Devices May Cripple Networks

ipad_boom

The US Government seems to be a bit concerned about Apple's iPad, fearing its release in combination with the iPhone and other data-heavy devices, will wreak havoc on wireless networks.

Phil Bellaria of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau recently published in his blog his concerns about the future of our data networks.

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blockquote>"With the iPad pointing to even greater demand for mobile broadband on the horizon, we must ensure that network congestion doesn’t choke off a service that consumers clearly find so appealing or frustrate mobile broadband’s ability to keep us competitive in the global broadband economy."

He then brings us back to 1996 to remind us of the time AOL first introduced unlimited data and how that particular instance brought about major connection trouble for all of it's users. AOL, after the fact, then took the appropriate actions in beefing up it's network to allow for all of that traffic. In regards to the iPad it seems like Apple has been closely working with AT&T to make sure network improvements are made being the products release.

Does Phil have a valid point? Should we be worried about our data networks? Sound off in the comments below (especially if you life in SF or NYC...)!

Footnote: 
[via TUAW]

Jeremy

Community editor. Tech enthusiast. All-around geek.

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Reader comments

US Government Fears iPad, iPhone and Other Data Devices May Cripple Networks

42 Comments

More alarmism brought to you by the people who swore y2k would be the end of the world. I have no doubt that AT&T and Apple have closely partnered to learn from the original iPhone network debacles. Carry on...

Seriously, why does it "seem" like Apple and Att are working to improve things? What evidence are you using, other than press releases from each company, which are by definition self-serving? Att's annual and earnings statements, where they have a vested interest in disclosure in order to price their stock fairly, reveal no planned increase in infrastructure either on an absolut or per-subscriber basis. Where, then, is actual evidence, aside from the PR departments?

Does anyone at TIPB proofread ANYTHING?
What the heck kind of sentence is:
"In regards to the iPad it seems like Apple has been closing working with AT&T to make sure network improvements are made being the products release."

@Tberb: LOL...II thought the exact same thing...
@Dev: I'm pulling down between 3 and 4Mbps when they turned on HSPA 7.2. Before then, almost never under 2Mbps. All over L.A. with its dense population. Give the AT&T bashing a rest. And remember, it's always the few people who have coverage problems who drown out the masses who have nothing to bark about.

When u update to 3.1.3 look at the battery percentage remember it, then reset ur iPhone and when it turns back on look at the 1st intial lockscreen the battery percentage will be 8% lower then after a sec it will jump back 8 % to wut it should really be… Very very strange I thought apple was supposed to fix the issue not make it worse…. DO NOT UPGRADE PLEASE STICK WITH 3.1.2 FAR LESS BUGGY….
I AM LOOSING FAITH IN APPLE UR GETTING WORSE EVERYDAY, UR NOT IMPROVING THE IPHONE UI AT ALL.. UNLIKE ALL UR COMPETITION…. STEP UP APPLE AND BE A MAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Governmental concern is a good thing: it makes them more likely to grant money to communication industries in an effort to beef up their systems. Remember, the goverment WANTS to roll out broadband use to ALL Americans, they have a vested interest in seeing this proceed.

@dev I hope you are not looking at the capital expendature from AT&T's earnings reports. AT&T is much more than a wireless company and much of there spending is on fiber and landlines - so they could actually decrease overall capital expendatures and be increasing spending on cell phone coverage.

We are also all gonna dle in 2012 so as long as the network holds up till then we will all be fine. Now sit back and finish your kool aid

As a European reader, I find it ridiculous that the reliability of your mobile networks - an important part of any country's infrastructure - is so dependent on the investments of a few private corporations. In my country, the cell phone networks were privatized in the late 90s, but in the years before that, the government financed a pretty solid GSM-infrastructure that is still the basis of our HSPA-networks today. We wouldn't have anywhere near the penetration we have today if my government hadn't taken that first step. Perhaps Obama should start some kind of initiative to... oh wait, SOCIALISM.

Another reason to do away with exclusivity agreements. Spread the demand amongst all the networks.

@Rentalman
Yes, but most analysts say the opposite is true, that AT&T has been underinvesting in its wireless infrastructure while beefing up its wired infrastructure for its uverse product. Here is one analysis (pre-iPad) of AT&T's wireless expenditures over the lifepsan of the iPhone:
"According to TownHall, AT&T's capital expenditures on its wireless network from 2006 through September 2009 totaled about $21.6 billion, compared with $25.4 billion for Verizon and $16 billion for Sprint (including Sprint's investments in WiMax operator Clearwire). Over that time, Verizon has spent far more per subscriber: $353, compared with $308 for AT&T, Hallaren said. Even Sprint has outspent AT&T per subscriber, laying out $310 for network capital expenditure."
http://tinyurl.com/yk678kx

FAIL on the edit TiPb... The error was pointed out and the sentence still is a disaster.

No I don't think there is anything to worry about, there may be an inconvenience but just as in '96 once there is a problem the network will have to be beefed up. So there will be improvements, if we stay the same there will never be any innovation.

Just wetnad to ask you about what should be in this synopsis.Do I tell the whole story with spoilers and everything, or do I just touch on what the story consists of without spoiling anything. Or does both count?Thanks

us government fears ipad? does Phil Bellaria even have anything to do with the government

why wouldn't a cheaper netbook, which has better internet capabilities be a bigger "threat" than a crippled (no flash/video) iPad?

Ahahahh, lmao! Bad grammer dude.
(Especially if you life in SF or NYC...!)
Hahah, the Verizon people probably wrote this article!

@PLAYA: I think there might still be a few posts left that you haven't pasted that same off-topic rant into.

@Neil brimelow
it doesn't have to do with "better" Internet capabilities. It has to do ith how many people have the device. Like it or not this ipad will probably sell lime crazy.

So, are rtetirewn summeries not counted no matter what? I just did a proper summery for the Planetary preview where there was originally just information on where it previously appeared, but no actual details on what the plot was about.Also, there wouldn't happen to be a way to spy on the competition and see how many summeries others have written, is there? Or would that ruin the fun of competition?

Great publicity for the iPad ;)
I don't think the iPad will impact stuff like this until the 2nd and 3rd generation models, the ones the masses will start purchasing.
The device purchasing public as become very savvy over the past few years; not purchasing generation-1 devices has become 'common sense' :)

I can't wait to see all these people get their iPads without Java or Flash Plugin Architecture and realize that they are surfing the 'retard' web without the ability to download anything or use the thing like a real computer and then they realize they just bought a reaaaallly expensive ereader! LOL! The App Store is boring after a while.. have fun Suckaas!

I see a slightly big improvment in network speed in NYC ( my average is 1.1mbps , max average 1.8mbps and in my home 1.8-1.9mbps) and call quality is a little better however , with the iPad , iPhone , there might be a indefinite change in that.
If AT&T continuously make improvements to their network in the next 6 months they might maintain their improvments for the rest of the year while iPhones and iPads hog the network.

The iPad caused me and my girlfriend to break-up, and killed my dog..... Damn you Steve Jobs, DAMN YOU!!!!!!

I think if they can't handle the millions that are going to get the Unlimited Data plan for their iPads why bother even havin it for your company

Parkettpolitur, our government doesn't needed to improve "ATT's" network. When ATT's network gets bad enough it will start to hurt their pockets and they will have to start improving things. It is funny how no one is even concerned or discussing the possibility of our government getting involved. They just want to find something else to socialize and tax the hell out of to support their crazy spending ideas. The government screws up everything they run. They would be much worse then ATT.
BTW, I have no problem with ATT in my hometown. Clearly it isn't that bad for the majority of the country or they would have customers dropping like flies. They have a few areas of the country that are very bad which scream louder then the ones that don't.
But yes, your right... socialism.. they are taking one step at a time. The baby steps slowly numb people then before you know it, it's here.

Great post. Interesting read. One thing - I'm using Google Chrome and I had a few problems posting comments. I know Chrome isn't hugely popular but you might want to check it out.

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Prosze Cie z calego serca: nie ptezsrawaj tworzyc Twojego blogu, poniewaz ten post byl dokladnie czyms, czego prawie od tygodnia szukalem. Dzieki.