FCC Ponders Powerful and Free Internet Service for All...Again

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Free public access to government-created WiFi networks across the United States could become a reality in the near future, under a proposed plan by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).


The FCC idea could allow Americans to make phone calls or access the Internet without the need to do business with cell phone companies.


Not surprisingly, telecoms hate the FCC plan and intend to lobby heavily against it.


But the FCC does have its own heavyweights supporting the WiFi networks, namely Google, Microsoft and other tech giants who see free wireless service as a way to encourage innovation and new technology.


The new WiFi networks would reportedly be more powerful than existing wireless networks found in most households. “They could penetrate thick concrete walls and travel over hills and around trees. If all goes as planned, free access to the Web would be available in just about every metropolitan area and in many rural areas,” according to Cecilia Kang of The Washington Post.


Drawbacks to the plan include that it would take years to set up the networks, assuming the FCC can convince local television stations and other broadcasters to sell portions of their airwaves for the new access.


Critics add that once in operation, the government might not do a good job of managing the networks against crashes and bandwidth problems.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Tech, Telecom Giants Take Sides as FCC Proposes Large Public WiFi Networks (by Cecilia Kang, Washington Post)

FCC Bends to Telecoms on Broadband Internet Development (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

FCC Proposes Broadband Internet for All Americans (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

State Dept. Unveils Plan to Fight Internet Censorship around the World (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Verizon Claims Right to “Edit” What You See on the Internet (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Leave a comment