Two Important Steps Forward for E-Commerce
Yesterday two votes paved the way for increasing the market for direct sales of wine. They both further the cause of broadband access in the United States, a major factor in the potential growth of the online market.
The first you’ve probably heard about: the United States has elected a new president in Barack Obama. According to Obama’s web site, “Barack Obama believes that America should lead the world in broadband penetration and Internet access”. Obama led other presidential candidates in his Tech policy, although McCain now declares on his web site that “John McCain has long believed that all Americans, no matter if rich or poor, rural or urban, old or young, should have access to high-speed Internet services”. This is certainly good news, showing common cause between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to broadband penetration.
The second (and more obscure) important vote yesterday was made by the FCC, who decided to free up the unused airwaves between broadcast TV channels, also known as “white spaces”. This would allow vendors to use this spectrum for wireless internet access the same way that they currently use the Wi-Fi spectrum. The white-spaces spectrum signals have much longer ranges than current Wi-Fi, allowing for what Google’s Larry Page has called “Wi-Fi on Steroids“.
Why is this good news for direct sales? According to the OECD, broadband users are 20% more likely to purchase online than narrowband users. The expansion of broadband access and the possibility of a new wireless broadband technology could be a shot in the arm for online sales of wine and everything else.