Is the world ready for 802.11ac?

Just a quick post from the road with a screenshot of the state of hotel wireless in the area I’m in currently. It’s a bank of hotels near a mini-mall type area just over the major highway. I find these types of spots to be pretty typical in most towns that are not of a large size and thus a good barometer. Over the last 2 or so years I’ve slowly seen some hotel chains improving their networks due to the high demand (and expectation) from their customers. When I fired up Metageek’s inSSIDer to take a look at my survey AP’s channels I was pleasantly surprised. It would seem that the two hotels within moderate RF range (truth be told there are 2 others along this strip) are primarily using Ruckus and have their channel distribution set properly. After spending a good amount of time on the road in the last 1-1.5 years I can also state that this isn’t usually what I see. It would also appear that the retail chain across the street using Cisco gear not only has their power cranked up pretty high but they’re also not using the nice and clean 1/6/11 scheme. Insert facepalm and red faces here (do note this wasn’t *my* client).

Getting back to my post title, the other major thing of note is that there wasn’t a single 5ghz channel within range. Now I can’t be sure that our wayward Cisco AP didn’t have one due to distance but that would still only reveal one in many. While I’m happy to see channels being utilized properly (even if it’s not with the gear I use) I wonder why we’re still not seeing much 5 GHz. Is this the next step in the slow adoption of the service industry market? Will this piece of the market finally adopt 5ghz after vendors begin pushing 802.11ac? Finally, something I’ve been dwelling on for a while now. Once 802.11ac is out upon the masses will we have to wait several years before people are doing it “right” and be forced to live in the channel stomping reality that has plagued (and continues to plague in many cases) us in 2.4 GHz for so long? I’ll borrow a bit from Stan Lee and begin to say it now “With great bandwidth, comes great responsibility”. Are we ready for all that?

I certainly hope so….

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