Israel Reaching “Peak Wi-Fi”

Densely populated, tech-rich Israel may become the first country to reach “Peak Wi-Fi”–a shortage of broadband spectrum due to an overabundance of Internet use.

Israel, which along with Taiwan, Dubai, and Singapore is one of the world’s most densely populated tech hubs, may be experiencing a shortage of broadband for wireless Internet. Next week, the Israeli government is expected to announce broadband caps which would prevent mobile providers from offering Internet access hot spots in a bid to reduce future congestion. The ruling by telecommunications minister Gilad Ardan is designed to prevent spectrum shortages, says Quartz’s Leo Mirani.

In a Hebrew-language article in business newspaper Globes, Gad Peretz notes that Israel has less broadband spectrum allocated to Wi-Fi than most other industrialized countries; Israel allocates 200 Mhz of spectrum, while the United States and Europe allocate 500 Mhz. Major Israeli cities and suburbs have a New York- or San Francisco-level of free Wi-Fi saturation through coffee shops, restaurants, and retail stores; the move (if implemented) would primarily affect wireless broadband access in rural communities.

About the author

Based in sunny Los Angeles, Neal Ungerleider covers science and technology for Fast Company. He also works as a consultant, writes books, and does other things.



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