Feeds

FCC boss spices Puritan wireless plan

The threat of unlicensed spectrum

Business security measures using SSL

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.