Feeds

FTC issues competition guidelines for Muni Wi-Fi

Judge and Executioner

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The Federal Trade Commission today mapped out the terrain for American municipalities considering rolling out their own Wi-Fi Networks.

Chief among the regulator's concerns is to ensure that local authorities do not torpedo the competition. But its report "Municipal Provision of Wireless Internet,” is less a series of dos and don'ts than a "decision-tree framework [that] seeks to reduce the possible competitive harms arising from a municipality operating as both a market participant and a regulator". Muni WiFi is not a one size fits-all option, and is unsuitable for some municipalities, the FTC says.

The FTC report is the first to spring from the loins of the FTC’s Internet Access Task Force, which was convened in August. This team is also examining that telco-political hot potato, Net Neutrality.

Free Municipal Wi-Fi for all ought to be a no-brainer. After all, what is there for the latte-drinking laptop owners of America not to love? Dole out free wireless cards to the poor PC owners-who- can't-afford-the_internet-of-America and you could cross that digital divide. Lard the service with Google adwords and it pays for itself, maybe even makes a buck or two for the municipality. But the shops who tempt the latte-drinking laptop owners of America with WiFi, free or otherwise, and their network suppliers can find themselves losing out bigtime to a local monopoly.

Luckily for the other side, many municipalities in favour of running free Wi-Fi, have adopted a leisurely timetable for its adoption. Last month, for instance, Google expressed its displeasure with the "slow-moving city bureaucracy" of San Francisco, over delays in signing a final contract to install a free Wi-Fi service there. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.