FCC's Martin Pushes Free Internet, With a Catch
from Broadcast Engineering
Washington - Dec 8, 2008 - FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, a Republican whose time is almost up as chairman, will leave the job with a bang by pushing a controversial proposal on Dec. 18 to create free Internet access for all Americans. Mobile phone companies, who paid billions of dollars for their spectrum, vehemently oppose Martin's plan to auction spectrum with a mandate to set aside part of it for free Internet use. Free speech advocates don't like Martin's idea that the winning bidder must block adult and other "offensive" content from the free access.
"Everybody likes the concept -- free broadband, free access to the Internet -- but in practice, the way the model is set up, it may present problems," Ben Scott, policy director of advocacy group Free Press, told Reuters.
The winning bidder would be required to set aside a quarter of the airwaves for free Internet service and could establish a paid service that would have a faster wireless Internet connection.
T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom, argued that the free Internet component of the proposal would lead to interference with the adjacent spectrum. The FCC's office of engineering and technology said that is not true.
Reuters noted that Martin's proposal is similar to one offered by startup M2Z Networks, a group backed by investors including venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. M2Z President John Muleta envisions consumers buying a router for free Internet access at midlevel DSL speed and paying a fee to upgrade to a faster service. A lack of competition and rising prices for Internet services are creating consumer demand for cheaper service, he said.
Martin, unlikely to get the support of his two Republican colleagues on the FCC, must persuade the commission's two Democrats, who have supported the free Internet concept, to side with him. It is unclear whether the Democrats will back the proposal.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Today in Radio History
The history of radio broadcasting extends beyond the work of a few famous inventors.
EAS Information More on EAS
The feed provides feeds for all US states and territories.
Need a calendar for your computer desktop? Use one of ours.
Information from manufacturers and associations about industry news, products, technology and business announcements.
Staying on-air is priority #1, but 100 percent redundancy comes at a cost.
Browse Back Issues[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Also in the November Issue
- Music is Everywhere at WTMD
- FCC Looks to Update RF Exposure Rules
- Government Shutdown Causes FCC Delays
- Applied Technology: Wheatstone baseband192
- Side by Side: Video Cameras
- Exploring More from Google Earth
- The History of W9BSP