The U.S. Federal Communications Committee (FCC) recently submitted a proposal to create super Wi-Fi networks across the country that would enable users to make calls or surf the Internet for free. Although the wireless industry has launched a strong lobbying effort to convince policymakers to reconsider the idea, companies such as Google and Microsoft are campaigning for the proposal, saying that it will spark an explosion of innovations that will benefit most Americans.
"For a casual user of the Web, perhaps this could replace carrier service," says analyst Jeffrey Silva. "Because it is more plentiful and there is no price tag, it could have a real appeal to some people."
The airwaves the FCC wants to use for the public Wi-Fi networks would be much more powerful than conventional Wi-Fi networks, but because the major wireless carriers own much more spectrum, their networks would still be much more robust. It also would take several years to set up.
"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," says FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.
From The Washington Post
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