• 06 FEB 13
    • 0

    FCC super WiFi proposal prompts fierce lobbying from tech, telecom firms

    So, at the same time the FCC is to “review” the standards it is also promoting a nationwide super WiFi network. A slight conflict of interest I think!



    From Blake Levitt to the CHE List:

    What the FCC proposes is another spectacularly bad idea. (Click at the end once the story comes up to read the entire article.) This is what happens when a regulatory agency becomes an intoxicated advocate for the industries they are supposed to regulate. And it is riding an egalitarian horse again. Juxtapose this against the FCC “reviewing” its current RF standards and the picture is not good for making the regs more stringent or biologically based. Schemes like this shift liability onto insurance companies, citizens and the medical sector to pay the tab.

    Blake Levitt

    The Washington Post

    FCC super WiFi proposal prompts fierce lobbying from tech, telecom firms
    By Ceclia Kang

    A version of this story ran in the print edition of Monday”™s Washington Post:

    The federal government wants to create super WiFi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month.

    The proposal from the Federal Communications Commission 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 Google, Microsoft 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 airwaves that FCC officials want to hand over to the public would be much more powerful than existing WiFi networks that have become common in 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.

    The new WiFi networks would also have much farther reach, allowing for a driverless car to communicate with another vehicle a mile away or a patient”™s heart monitor to connect to a hospital on the other side of town.

    If approved by the FCC, the free networks would take several years to set up. And, with no one actively managing them, conĀ­nections could easily become jammed in major cities. But public WiFi could allow many consumers to make free calls from their mobile phones via the Internet. The frugal-minded could even use the service in their homes, allowing them to cut off expensive Internet bills.

    “For a casual user of the Web, perhaps this could replace carrier service,”¯ said Jeffrey Silva, an analyst at the Medley Global Advisors research firm. “Because it is more plentiful and there is no price tag, it could have a real appeal to some people.”¯

    Read the full article here

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