Monday, February 04, 2013
FCC proposal for Super WiFi creates schisms in tech industry
There is a new schism between major tech service and social networking companies (Google, Facebook, and the like) and telecommunications providers (like ATT, Comcast) over an FCC proposal to create super WiFi networks across the nation, enabling lower income people to use the Internet with no fees and reaching rural areas. Also, such networks would be much more resistance to storms or other physical disruption.
The story by Cecilia Kang in the Washington Post appears Monday February 4, 2013, link here.
Republicans say that the government could cut its deficit (and even contribute toward the sequestration hearings and debate) by auctioning off wireless frequencies to private carriers, but possibly stipulating improved performance and speeds, especially in rural areas.
High quality streaming in heavy volume would still have to be paid for by consumers in subscription plans and contracts in a normal fashion, but very basic service might be free.
I often find that cellular service, especially Internet access, is spotting in rural areas, particularly in West Virginia, where my own Verizon service usually goes over to 1X and connects to Sprint, not always successfully.
Cellular service has been improving on the Metro on most lines and at most stations, except in the deepest tunnels.
It's important to remember that the government itself cannot set up the super WiFi. It can license unused airwaves to companies that will do it.