From: The Wall Street Journal —

The U.S. federal Communications Commission (FCC) will consider a proposal this month to bring no-cost, porn-free wireless Internet service to all Americans.

Sounds great in principle but free speech, wireless industry and consumer groups are up in arms over the plan.

The free access proposal is a sidebar of sorts to a larger plan by the FCC to auction off yet another huge chunk of the U.S. wireless signal spectrum. Under the plan, the successful bidder for the wireless airspace would have to set aside a quarter of the new communications capacity for no-cost, family-rated Internet access service.

As Amy Schatz reports, in the Wall Street Journal, “Consumer advocates have objected to the FCC’s proposed pornography filter, while the wireless industry has objected to the entire free Internet plan. To address concerns about the filter, the FCC is proposing that adults could opt out and access all Internet sites.”

Some cell phone service providers are also concerned that massive wireless internet traffic on nearly channels will cause interference with their services.

2 Responses to FCC considers ‘free’ WiFi for U.S.

  1. G.V.
    Dec 09, 2008

    I think this is a bad idea because it would hurt the Internet service industry. Losing business means losing jobs, which is not a good thing considering the current state of the economy. I do think it’s a good idea, however, to make the Internet easier to access. This new type of wireless service called Clear, for example, makes it really convenient and affordable to access wireless Internet that is unprecedentedly fast in places where a wireless connection was hard to reach before. Check it out at It’s only available in Portland at the moment, but they’re rolling it out elsewhere really soon.

  2. Maggie James
    Dec 10, 2008

    WiMax certainly seems to be the way most start-up ISPs are going. Nobody can afford to string and maintain wires or fibre anymore.

    One drawback to WiMax, though, is the need for a fairly clear line-of-sight from the nearest node to the user’s modem to get anything like the full advertised speed.

    I recall that one of the first widespreasd implementations of this tech was in RV parks across the U.S. south, from Florida to New Mexico. The problem there was, most RVs are sheathed in metal and that played merry old hell with the signal, even if you were literally across the street from the node.

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