Color me shocked. If this comes to fruition, the US would catch up with the rest of the world.
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 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.
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.
Over at Maddow Blog, Steve Brenen spoke with an FCC spokesperson who explained:
“The FCC’s incentive auction proposal, launched in September of last year, would unleash substantial spectrum for licensed uses like 4G LTE. It would also free up unlicensed spectrum for uses including, but not limited to, next generation Wi-Fi. As the demand for mobile broadband continues to grow rapidly, we need to free up significant amounts of spectrum for commercial use, and both licensed and unlicensed spectrum must be part of the solution.”
This is several years off and faces opposition from the telecom industry and lawmakers in the House and Senate who represent them and not us.
h/t to Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars for this 2010 interview with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski who answered questions submitted and voted on by people on Citizentube.