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Could you please tell me if is it possible to replace telephone lines by electromagnetic waves such as tv broadcasts, so that one would access the internet anywhere simply by the help of an antenna like he does the same while he wishes to watch TV? Without any cables I hope you can get my question. And thanks in advance for your kindness.
Question Date: 2004-05-05
Answer 1:

In order to communicate (and surfing the web is just that) without using a cable, you need both a transmitter and a receiver.

>Sure, it's possible. A television, however, is only a receiver, so you would need a transmitter as well.

Communication via light might also be slower, since it would have to reflect light off of satellites. In short, there are several technical difficulties. However, I would wager a guess that the internet of the future will be very much like that, though I would not care to guess when.

Answer 2:

This is already starting to happen - I am using it.

I have a telescope at the White Mountain Research Station in the Inyo-White Mountains in eastern California. I am able to control my telescope from Santa Barbara using the internet even though there are no phone lines or cables going up to the station,which is at about 12500 ft. elevation.

We have two methods of wireless internet. The first one is by using a dish to send signals to (and receive signals from) a satellite which communicates with some base station somewhere that is connected to the wired internet. The other method uses radios that send signals from a station in Bishop, CA to an antenna on the peak of White Mountain (elevation 14246 ft.) which then transmits to another antenna where my telescope is. The radio method is much faster than the satellite method but we are still working out reliability issues so it is nice to have both in case one goes down for some reason.

In addition, there are ways of setting up local wireless networks in small areas - like inside buildings. Also, I believe some cell phones have the equivalent of wireless internet access. I think there are probably a lot of issues to be worked out before we get to the point where you could have some sort of antenna on your PC that would allow you to hook up to the internet wirelessly no matter where you are but it is possible.

Answer 3:

Yes, that is indeed possible. In fact, current cell phones use electromagnetic waves to allow people to talk and access the internet in much the same way you are imagining. The only problem is cell phones don't have very fast connections right now. The current speed is around 10 Kbps (Kilobits per second)which is slower than the speeds people can obtain from regular modems which go at about 56 Kbps and considerably slower than cable modems and DSL. However,there are new wireless technologies such as 4G which are being developed and will allow for speeds of up to 10 Mbps (Megabits per second)! Thanks for your question!

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