FCC Proposes Free Public WiFi Nationwide (or maybe not?)

Free-wifi fcc

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I’m not a huge fan of the FCC.  Censorship dressed in any garb makes me cringe as taboo and repression only create greater intrigue in a curious mind.  Every once in a while though the boys and girls at the FCC come up with a great idea.

The FCC recently proposed the creation of a massive and free wireless internet network across the US that can be used by the public to surf the web and even make calls.  This would allow the vast majority of people residing in the US to throw away their phone and internet bills.

While many telecom companies have rallied the loud-mouth cavalry and are in full lobbying mode in an attempt to persuade law makers that money in their pockets rather than free internet and phone service is somehow a better option for the people, other companies like Google and Microsoft are praising the FCC for its potential decision.

The proposal from the FCC:

has rattled the $178 billion wireless industry, which has launched a fierce lobbying effort to persuade policymakers to reconsider the idea, analysts say. That has been countered by an equally intense campaign from GoogleMicrosoft and other tech giants who say a free-for-all WiFi service would spark an explosion of innovations and devices that would benefit most Americans, especially the poor.

 

The WiFi the FCC is proposing would be stronger (easily passing through concrete walls and hills) as well as more encompassing than the wireless internet we are familiar with today, leading to the expansive, instant connectivity of the mundane (simple text messages), to the highly vital (communication between a heart monitor and a hospital across town).

This wireless revolution would be a global first, allowing the USA to once again be the leader in innovation and freedom, and remarkable innovation is surely what will follow. The last time something of this magnitude occurred, the FCC:

made a limited amount of unlicensed airwaves available in 1985, an unexpected explosion in innovation followed. Baby monitors, garage door openers and wireless stage microphones were created. Millions of homes now run their own wireless networks, connecting tablets, game consoles, kitchen appliances and security systems to the Internet.

A free market harboring true competition and innovation while helping those in need; aren’t those some of the most basic principles of the USA? Let’s hope our stubborn congress stops selling itself out to special interest groups and worrying so much about abortion, gay rights, and an ancient book. Let’s hope our stubborn congress allows this revolution to spread its wings and connect the nation and the world at large.

Unfortunately, we may need more than just hope as:

some Republican lawmakers have criticized [the] idea of creating free WiFi networks, noting that an auction of the airwaves would raise billions for the U.S. Treasury. That sentiment echoes arguments made by companies such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon WirelessIntel and Qualcomm, in a letter to the FCC staff late last month, that the government should focus its attention on selling the airwaves to businesses.

Companies like Cisco and Intel are claiming that this Internet overhaul could interfere with various broadcasts and 4G signals, but as usual, the claims are baseless:

An FCC official added that there is little proof so far that the spectrum that could be used for public WiFi systems would knock out broadcast and 4G wireless signals.

As usual, lobbyists and big-name business execs are stagnating progress with scare tactics as they sell out the greater good of the people for a few more rounds of golf on their private islands.

I recently wrote an article discussing Google’s introduction of a free internet service using fiber optics, aptly named Google Fiber. Whether or not the FCC’s plans are allowed to play out, and regardless of Google Fiber’s rate of expansion, hopefully this recent turn of events will force telecom companies across the nation to start improving their services and charging affordable rates.

They are holding the American people, and our precious internet hostage; the ransom is a criminally high monthly bill they know we will pay.

Edit* Or maybe some of the biggest media sources, including Wondergressive, got duped! (Our precious internet being held ransom still applies people!)

 

Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/tech-telecom-giants-take-sides-as-fcc-proposes-large-public-wifi-networks/2013/02/03/eb27d3e0-698b-11e2-ada3-d86a4806d5ee_story.html

http://washpost.bloomberg.com/marketnews/stockdetail/?symbol=GOOG

http://washpost.bloomberg.com/marketnews/stockdetail/?symbol=MSFT

http://washpost.bloomberg.com/marketnews/stockdetail/?symbol=VZ

http://washpost.bloomberg.com/marketnews/stockdetail/?symbol=INTC

http://washpost.bloomberg.com/marketnews/stockdetail/?symbol=QCOM

http://washpost.bloomberg.com/marketnews/stockdetail/?symbol=T

https://wondergressive.com/2013/02/04/free-internet-help-yourself/

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/02/wi-fi-as-free-as-air-the-totally-false-story-that-refuses-to-die/

One thought on “FCC Proposes Free Public WiFi Nationwide (or maybe not?)

  1. Pingback: A Non-Loony Google Project Called LOON - Wondergressive

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