Many of our devices these days need to connect to the cloud to complete the setup process, which can be a bit worrisome when you’re trying to set up a new device and you don’t have an internet connection. However, in the future, Amazon aims to solve that problem by getting entire neighborhoods to share their internet with each other. It does make sense.
This would be Amazon’s Sidewalk program where according to Amazon, it will share a slice of your internet connection with your neighbors and vice versa. This will happen through a variety of Amazon owned smart devices like Alexa smart speakers/displays, Ring security cameras, motion sensors, doorbells, and more.
If you are concerned that this will slow down your connection, Amazon says that bandwidth will be capped at 80Kbps. “The maximum bandwidth of a Sidewalk Bridge to the Sidewalk server is 80Kbps, which is about 1/40th of the bandwidth used to stream a typical high definition video. Today, when you share your Bridge’s connection with Sidewalk, total monthly data used by Sidewalk, per account, is capped at 500MB, which is equivalent to streaming about 10 minutes of high definition video.”
This does sound interesting, as it is basically an entire neighborhood acting as one giant mesh internet, but there are certainly plenty of users who might be uncomfortable with the idea. If that is you, you can opt-out of Sidewalk. Users who don’t opt-out will be automatically opted in on June 8th.