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FCC Proposes Groundbreaking Free Public Wi-Fi Throughout United States; Mobile Companies Protest

By james321Follow



Imagine telling AT&T you're done with dropped calls, or telling
T-Mobile you're done with slow data. Yes, elections matter, and the FCC is proposing something spectacular for Americans...assuming that shitting-their-pants mobile phone operators don't kill the mammoth proposal:

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.

Think about it -- how often do you actually use your smartphone to make
phone calls or texts now anyway? For many folks, particularly the
younger set, smartphones are about data, data, and data. They use Skype
to make calls, Whatsapp to send texts, and Facebook to stay in touch --
all on data. This is why the likes of AT&T now force Americans to
purchase unlimited texts and phone minutes -- or otherwise face
outrageous per-text or per-minute fees -- because the wireless companies
realize that Americans are really carrying around small computers in
this day and age -- the 'phone' is only an inconsequential 'app' at the
bottom of your screen.
This is a Big Ducking Deal, folks:



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 still take several
years to set up. And, with no one actively managing them, con­nections
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.”

Unsurprisingly, this is a policy move that would benefit both the
wealthiest Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs and the poorest individuals
in America's cities and rural areas:

Designed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the plan would
be a global first. When the U.S. government 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.
“Freeing up unlicensed spectrum is a vibrantly free-market approach
that offers low barriers to entry to innovators developing the
technologies of the future and benefits consumers,” Genachow­ski said in
a an e-mailed statement.
Some companies and cities are already moving in this direction.
Google is providing free WiFi to the public in the Chelsea neighborhood
of Manhattan and parts of Silicon Valley.
Cities support the idea because the networks would lower costs for
schools and businesses or help vacationers easily find tourist spots.
Consumer advocates note the benefits to the poor, who often cannot
afford high cellphone and Internet bills.

This is a policy that could transform American competitiveness and
create thousands of new jobs, as well as diminishing the burden of
outrageous wireless phone bills on poor Americans. Waiting for the GOP
to cry 'socialism' in 3,2,1...








11:07 AM PT: Email the Commissioners to Express Support for the Proposal:


Chairman Julius Genachowski: [url=mailto:Julius.Genachowski@fcc.gov]Julius.Genachowski@fcc.gov[/url]



Commissioner Robert McDowell: [url=mailto:Robert.McDowell@fcc.gov]Robert.McDowell@fcc.gov[/url]



Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: [url=mailto:Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov]Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov[/url]



Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel: [url=mailto:Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov]Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov[/url]



Commissioner Ajit Pai: [url=mailto:Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov]Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov[/url]


Added: Feb-4-2013 Occurred On: Feb-4-2013
By: dcmfox
In:
Other News
Tags: , , , , , , FCC, , , , , Mobile, , , , , Recommended, , , , , smartphones, , , , , technology, , , , , WiFi, , , , , wireless
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  • Comment of user 'maddog2681' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Hmm, maybe I'm a bit cynical, but it seems like this would be an excellent way for big brother to keep tabs on just what everyone does online. No more having to ask providers for logs of user activity. No more obtaining warrants. All the data big brother could want right at their fingertips.

    Oh yeah, and who's going to pay for it? I don't want to contribute any more of my hard earned money to a bunch of worthless SOBs who refuse to get a job, because their savior keeps giving them free More..

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • This is done on a small scale, now. I can think of a few cities that have free city-wide wifi.

    Keep in mind, a lot of the cost of wifi isn't in physically maintaining the network, it's in accounting for shareholder profit expectations.

    My only worry would be that it would be a government connection. You can see potential privacy issues stemming from that, I imagine.

    If this happens, it would be the next big step in the information age.

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • Sounds like an outstanding way to track the position of every single citizen (and illegal) AND note what they look at and for how long. It also smacks of the socialization of internet access. Sure makes the flipping of a single switch to shut down the 'net much easier. No wonder dcmfox (and friends) would support such a proposition.

    Question: The damn feds can't deliver a water bill and break even. Does anyone think they can pull this off?

    I call on all LLers to utilize the very list More..

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @copperdog3

      I disagree. The internet was created from tax dollars. Why should these "providers" be able to rape us month after month.

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @dcmfox
      Rape? Are you effing serious?!? If you have a mobile phone, you are a willing participant. Toss if off a bridge if you don't like it. Welcome to the free market. Its what built that nifty 4G network you enjoy right about now.

      Oh, and I noticed that you fully ignored that fact that those "tax dollars" that invented the internet were in reality defense spending. It was the need for redundant, resilient communications that facilitated the invention of the internet in th More..

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @copperdog3

      Fuck you and your condescending reply. Tax dollars are tax dollars.

      Much of the R&D is done at the college level.

      I don't really like just handing it over to private companies to get you for more money when we should get something back for the monies already spent.

      And you wanted to be on my IM list, perfect example of why you aren't prick.

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @dcmfox
      Yeah, I thought I might open a channel for dialogue between you and me. I try as much as I can to appreciate the opinions of those that disagree with me. Just ask Zardoz. You said your IM list was reserved solely those that thought the way you did, your friends and those that "could help you." I can post the actual response if you want to deny it. So stop crying a bitching to me. Go tell it to your IM list. I'm sure they commiserate with you.

      Now, back to the point. More..

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @dcmfox
      And another thought:

      "Much of the R&D is done at the college level."

      Really? With who's money? Kinda convenient for the government that wants to control the future of R&D, no? You might have noticed that a great deal of the technology you enjoy now was the result of profit-minded corporations finding all kinds of neat tech gizmos on which you could spend your money. Read any university grant requests worried about future monetization and profitability?

      Wh More..

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • Sounds Waaaaay Sketchy!

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • Of course, so they can monitor and turn on and off at their own discretion.

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • Govt controled WiFi, what could go wrong?

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @Brondo25
      Heavily encrypted VPNs they can't break for years to come?

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @Brondo25
      Government controlled satellites, so our GPS will work? Oh, yeah, we already have that for free.

      The government controls our paid internet already. They spy on us, regulate us and tell us what we can and cannot download.

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @Rhemis
      Oh, yeah, there's a lib using the "free" word again. Anyone surprised? I never cease to be amazed how some libs can make the ridiculous proposition that the feds control something like the 'net at the same time they cannot deliver the mail without major inefficiency and losses.

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @copperdog3

      So why is the post office losing money? It never has until 2006/

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @dcmfox
      LOL. Are you suggesting that something OUTSIDE the feds' control is making them lose nine dollars for delivering your water bill?

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • Wouldn't this kill many jobs?

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @fredean01 You would think so. But, on the other hand, at least some new jobs would have to be created to install and maintain the system. I still don't like the idea though. I don't want big brother in my life any more than he already is.

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'Fahstahoahn' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Just like the FREE Obama Phone we will have FREE Obama Net!

    It's FREE, it's FREE. Bull shit!

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • This would kill the telecommunications industry and make insecure public communications.

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @USA1 You raise an interesting point -- the communication network is already insecure because the government is listening in at all times.

      Maybe proposing a "free" network does an end run around having to push companies around to get the tap into your datafeed when they would just have it all up front.

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • Yeah, definitely sounds good at first glance, but as others are saying, it's something that should be approached with hesitation.

    Of course no one likes mobile providers, but at the same time, should we trust a government that already wants to see all the porn we look at to run everyones everyone's internet service? And furthermore, it would be that much more easy for them to shut things down in the event of unpleasant information leaking.

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'Rikki_Tikki_Tavi' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @Rikki_Tikki_Tavi
      I'm open for any potential education.

      Posted Feb-5-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'Rikki_Tikki_Tavi' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Oh great, Obama-Fi...

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • I'll be highly pissed if there are no more Carly Foulkes commercials (the T-Mobile girl).

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • OF COURSE THEY WANNA GIVE YOU THIS! IF THEY CONTROL INTERNET, THEY CONTROL EVERYTHING YOU SAY OR DO ON IT AS WELL!. FOOLS!

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • yes!! free internet from the government!!! Let's take all the compition out of it.......cause that'll make it work better. Cell phone/Internet technology has made leaps and bound because companies fight for our business!!!!!!!! You take that away...we will all end up with the same shitty service and over paid gov't workers making tripple time/hr slowing making thier way to a cell tower to fix it..

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • Nothing free. Someone is paying for this.

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • Who's going to run that network and how are they going to finance it?

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'maddog2681' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @Saros

      Obama voters from Atlanta and Chicago will run it.

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @maddog2681 Well to be fair, the internet DID get started as a taxpayer funded military research project so you can't say that's always a bad thing. But useful functions are best left to commercial enterprise and heavily regulated to keep things from getting out of hand.

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'Fahstahoahn' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Well ,lets just hope that Google and Microsoft out lobby all of the mobile phone idiots or this bill will die.

    Nowadays it isnt about the best or most innovative idea, its about who can throw the most money at the criminals in DC.

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • Lol @ people going nuts over this, haven't you ever heard of VPNs?, or encryption over insecure networks at all?
    This is an amazing technology with tons of applications. It may cost jobs and profits, but it's no way a new method for the government to spy on people.

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @cbravo
      I'm not so much worried about spying as much as censorship of different sorts.

      Since you know more about this type of stuff, would this make it easier for the government to shut down internet altogether or in a particular area?

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @cbravo The government is already spying on everyone. The NSA has locked rooms with servers in every major data center. They're building a 5000 exabyte data storage facility out in Utah. The internet is a giant drag net.

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • Comment of user 'Fahstahoahn' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @86mang75 Shutting down the internet is notably difficult, but not impossible.

      It's all about whether or not there'd be private internet service providers left. Personally, I'm quite sure free Wifi won't affect many ISPs since much of the internet traffic doesn't really have to do with individual users, but with servers. A big server like the one used to host liveleak or youtube can't survive with a simple wifi connection because of the sheer bandwidth they have to use. Unless the government More..

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @r00ted Yup, I've also heard of Echelon, but still, there are a few encryption methods which can't be broken by the NSA.

      I read about one which uses a 13-million bit key (RSA, which we use to encrypt e-mail, uses just 128!) that Homeland Security has a ban on selling to foreign governments or organizations, which means that either they can't decrypt it or it's too hard nowadays.

      Still, free wifi would mean no noticeable difference when it comes to surveillance.

      Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • Bahaaha! Evolve or be left with the derelicts of history, same goes to the media distribution companies, frantically trying to hold onto the primitive, wow and flutter besieged, optical media bandwagon.
    People today are still amazed when we watch TV via internet only.

    ISP/Phone crooks need a kick up their ass big time.


    One cable to rule them all!

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • So obama wants to bankrupt all phone and internet providers nationwide and add millions more to unemployment?

    FORWARD!

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • fcc...aren't those guys always bitching about swearing on tv and the inventors of those annoying bleeps

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • We are the country who created the first internet yet we pay the most for the least all while we through government subsidies pay for the damn infrastructure. If there was real justice in this nation we'd be paying pennies for electricity and have free high speed internet since we the people paid for both ten times over already through taxes to create the nuclear plants, hydro electric damns, oil subsidies and R&D and infrastructures.

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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    • @Zardoz003
      Damn. But, I will refrain from the L word here.

      Do you REALLY think the dirt sniffers will allow pennies on the dollar for kilowatt hours? Really?

      You might have noticed that since the idea of the internet in the fifties/sixties, its the private sector that has made it what it is today. If we depended on the feds, we'd still be using 28k modems to access a 0.5G network. If you could call it that.

      Oh, and there is no chance the feds are even slightly interested in inexp More..

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    • @Zardoz003

      Think of cities and budgets and libraries that affords the poorest person free access to information.

      Now we can get everything on phone, which is cheaper.

      My favorite part of the article was forward thinking in my opinion.


      Unsurprisingly, this is a policy move that would benefit both the
      wealthiest Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs and the poorest individuals
      in America's cities and rural areas:

      Designed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the plan would
      be a More..

      Posted Feb-5-2013 By 

      (0) | Report

    • @copperdog3 But it is what it is exactly because the "private sector" relied so heavily on the government for the R&D and tax dollars creating it. Sorry to break it to you but that beloved golden cow of the private sector really isn't that fucking private. Uncle Sam, We the people carry them over our fucking shoulders. Look at Ford Motor company, how many times did henery go bankrupt trying and failing? If it wasn't for the US of A backing his play he'd be in a debtors prison inste More..

      Posted Feb-5-2013 By 

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    • @Zardoz003
      "relied so heavily on the government for the R&D"

      And where in hell do you think those dollars came from?

      The question here is a matter of efficiency. You can send your money to the feds to distribute as they see fit or you can contribute to the causes in which you believe. Which is better?

      Posted Feb-5-2013 By 

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  • If you think Wi-Fi is expensive now, wait till it's free.
    Sorry I had to.

    Posted Feb-4-2013 By 

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  • Every municipality that has attempted to offer Wi-Fi for the benefit of the public has been sued into the ground by Verizon and AT&T for "anti-competitive" practices. So, won't happen. It's just as well, because I think we already have enough things financed with debt that everyone pays for but not necessarily everyone would want. Besides, haven't we had about enough of transfer of employment from private to public sectors?

    Posted Feb-5-2013 By 

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