3 Ways Digital Television Could Change Social Media

Are you ready for digital television and even more social media? Earlier this week theInternet and TV government made a huge step in digitizing the airwaves. On Monday in Wilmington, North Carolina (a mere 120 miles from Ignite) the FCC turned off the analog airwaves, turning Wilmington into America’s first all-digital city. The change, coming five months before the nation-wide switch, is to figure out what will and won’t run smoothly. Even though supposedly 97% of the county are aware of the switch, dozens of phone calls poured in with problems. Maybe instead of wasting all that money on a seven-foot tall fake switch, they should have reached the other 3% of the population.

But I am sure you are probably saying to yourself, “Alex, why should I care about this? I am part of the digital age. I have cable and TiVo (bundled with high-speed internet for a low price!). When I’m not home I get my TV from my Slingbox or watch everything on Hulu.com.” (Seriously, can I get money for plugging these people?) The answer is simple: potential. Potential for social media to expand to even greater heights.

This will happen in several ways:

  1. The government would like auction part of the airwaves to businesses that would offer free broadband Internet to citizens. The service would have to cover 95% of the nation within ten years. While over 220 million people are online in this country, many of them do not have broadband. At the same time, Google is pushing for free Wi-Fi to more rural areas. Allowing free access to broadband would mean more people on the Internet for longer periods of time, which would conceivably mean more use of social networking sites.
  2. With those airwaves about to be vacated, the FCC has already started auctions for the use of the new spectrum. A majority of the bidders were cell-phone companies, like AT&T and Verizon, and even Google got in the mix. More spectrum for your phone means faster cell-phone Internet. A “new” breed of social media could grow out of this need to tailor to mobile internet users. And already, mobile technologies like Belysio, Skydata, and virtual sticky notes are making the future of social media marketing very tasty. (Yes, I borrowed the taste idea from Microsoft, I can’t get that commercial out of my head.)
  3. The reason that Google bid but did not buy was in order to have a certain portion of these airways free for anyone to use. By bidding a minimum of 4.6 billion on a certain block of airways, Google may have cleared the way for the mythical Google phone. Who wouldn’t be excited about that?

*For those of you who don’t know, my name is Alex and I am the new intern here at Ignite Social Media. When I am not working hard, or dodging Nerf dart barrages, then you can follow me on Twitter.

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