Feeds

FCC boss spices Puritan wireless plan

The threat of unlicensed spectrum

Boost IT visibility and business value

FCC chairman Kevin Martin has added some kick to his plan for a free nationwide wireless network, flirting with the possibility of dropping at least a portion of the zero-cost spectrum straight into the hands of mobile developers.

As we reported earlier this week, the FCC is set to vote on Martin's plan at its December 18 meeting. The basic idea is to auction off 25-MHz of the little-used AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) band and earmark at least 25 per cent for a free US-wide broadband network.

Under the plan, the winning bidder would be charged with offering free airwaves to at least 95 per cent of the US population.

To provide an additional incentive, the WSJ reports, Martin is now proposing this: If the free network hasn't reached a certain geographical location after five years, its local bandwidth would transformed into WiFi-like unlicensed spectrum. In other words, anyone with the inclination could grab some airwaves.

But Martin doesn't want the new clause sinking the whole plan. Last week, he circulated two versions of the proposal among his fellow commissioners: one with the clause and one without. At the December 18 meeting, the five commissioners will vote on only one version — the version they prefer to vote on.

Either way, the plan will not go over well at T-Mobile. The Deutsche Telekom-owned carrier sits in an adjacent portion of the AWS band, and it insists that Martin's free waves will wreak havoc on its existing network.

Then there's the no-smut issue. Martin is also proposing that the auction's winning bidder equip his free network with "family-friendly" content filters — though there would be an adult opt-out.

The FCC has already opened the television white spaces to unlicensed devices, defying both God and Dolly Parton. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.