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Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:04 PM

FCC chairman developing plan for free wireless Internet access: report

Source: Raw Story

FCC chairman developing plan for free wireless Internet access: report
By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, February 4, 2013 13:48 EST

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is developing a set of proposals that would establish a public wifi network that blankets the country with a high powered signal anyone can access for free, according to The Washington Post.

Such a sweeping change would be years in the making, but companies lobbying for it say that universal Internet access could spark an explosion of innovation and help usher in a new age of prosperity.

Networks of the type FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is envisioning would enable cars to communicate with one another to avoid accidents, bring millions of new devices online and truly make the Internet an unavoidable, ubiquitous part of everyday life. They could even enable truly unlimited, Internet-only personal communications, letting many consumers stop paying mobile phone bills and home Internet subscriptions, and bringing those services to those who couldn’t afford them to begin with.

“Freeing up unlicensed spectrum is a vibrantly free-market approach that offers low barriers to entry to innovators developing the technologies of the future and benefits consumers,” he told the Post in an email. A “senior FCC official” reportedly added that the FCC wants to make the policy “more end-user-centric and not carrier-centric.”


Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/04/fcc-chairman-developing-plan-for-free-wireless-internet-access-report/

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply FCC chairman developing plan for free wireless Internet access: report (Original post)
Judi Lynn Feb 2013 OP
cvsgracht Feb 2013 #1
Duer 157099 Feb 2013 #2
ProfessionalLeftist Feb 2013 #4
Duer 157099 Feb 2013 #5
BadgerKid Feb 2013 #7
adieu Feb 2013 #10
DeadEyeDyck Feb 2013 #11
adieu Feb 2013 #13
jeff47 Feb 2013 #25
christx30 Feb 2013 #31
jeff47 Feb 2013 #32
Scuba Feb 2013 #3
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #17
SunSeeker Feb 2013 #20
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #6
jeff47 Feb 2013 #26
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #29
Gidney N Cloyd Feb 2013 #8
OKNancy Feb 2013 #9
bvar22 Feb 2013 #12
davidn3600 Feb 2013 #14
SunSeeker Feb 2013 #19
Sen. Walter Sobchak Feb 2013 #15
mwooldri Feb 2013 #24
pampango Feb 2013 #16
RC Feb 2013 #18
madville Feb 2013 #21
mwooldri Feb 2013 #23
reteachinwi Feb 2013 #22
pampango Feb 2013 #27
kestrel91316 Feb 2013 #28
Nihil Feb 2013 #33
okaawhatever Feb 2013 #30

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:17 PM

1. Awesome

It would be great if this came to fruition, but there are so many entrenched interests that it's hard to see this not get watered down.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:23 PM

2. They will eventually do this

when they finally realize how much data mining they can do and how much control they can exert.

They're not doing it because it will help us, even though in many ways it will.

Buyer beware. Or something like that.

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:40 PM

4. Yea call me a conspiracy theorist but that was my first thought...

....they're not doing it for us, they're doing it for them. One big huge public pipe of data they can easily mine from instead of a bunch of private ones. There are of course public advantages but I somehow doubt that is (regardless the pretense being put forth) the objective.

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:47 PM

5. Won't have to get court orders to mine the data either

We're not CTs, we're rational thinkers who learn from history.

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Response to ProfessionalLeftist (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:08 PM

7. Actually, yes, probably.

I can't recall which web forum it was, but someone portrayed this as super simple.

The business's wi-fi merely has to detect your device's MAC address, which basically is a fingerprint of a device. That can be recorded. Associating MAC address with your location in the store and whether and what you purchased is next. Then they get your personal info from your payment. At the next level, analytics would tell you if, when, and where you are in the proximity of other MAC address, such as those of your friends' devices. Correlate this with social media, and voila.

Should also mention that forging MAC addresses is generally possible. It's not unheard of on desktops or laptops. I'd be surprised if you couldn't do this also on a cell phone.

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Response to BadgerKid (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:23 PM

10. What happens if you use

a PC or an Android device?

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Response to adieu (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:28 PM

11. anything on the internet, including smartphones

Have a MAC address.

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Response to DeadEyeDyck (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:48 PM

13. I understand

I was making a joke. See the smilie?

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Response to DeadEyeDyck (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 05:14 PM

25. Except the MAC isn't sent beyond the LAN.

Amazon, for example, doesn't have your computer's MAC address.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:16 PM

31. I work for an

ISP. I can see the MAC of anything a customer has ever connected to their home modem, wired or wirelessly. I can tell the brand and model.

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Response to christx30 (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:21 PM

32. Yeah, you're still not contradicting what I said.

The MAC address is in the ethernet frames. Those don't get sent to amazon. They get sent to you. Where your hardware replaces the MAC with your equipment's MAC and sends it up to your ISP. Who replaces your equipment's MAC with their equipment's MAC. And so on.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:34 PM

3. Huge boost to our economy. Reduced cost for existing business, new innovation...

... not to mention the benefits of ending the telecom rape of American customers. We pay more and get less than almost everybody else.

The telecoms will fight this, but the voters and every business not losing money will love it. These are our airwaves. Time to take them back and use them for us.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:20 PM

17. They might, but not if it ends up screwing us over somehow, perhaps. n/t

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Response to Scuba (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:39 PM

20. +1

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:00 PM

6. I like the idea of free internet but how much would it cost to maintain and who

will pay for it? Also doesnt there need to be a way for law enforcement to trace people down who use it if they commit a crime? How would they do that if its free? Maybe make it so to sign in you need to use some form of unique ID?

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 05:16 PM

26. Your computer already has a unique ID.

The network hardware in your computer or WiFi card has a unique identifier. It's only used on the local network and is stripped off when your data is sent along to the next network.

But if you were doing some sort of 'trace', you could track the IP address used to send the data on the Internet, and then tie that to the identifier in your hardware.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:40 AM

29. Using the mac address might not be the best course since its possible to spoof that and

yes I realize a password and username setup has its drawbacks as well.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)



Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 03:28 PM

12. THIS FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski ....

... the same one who is fighting for even MORE MEdia Consolidation,
the Julius Genachowski who is in Rupert Murdoch's pocket...

Rupert Murdoch — the guy who’s under investigation in England for phone hacking, influence peddling and bribery — wants to get his mitts on the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. These are the major papers in the nation's second- and third-largest cities (where, incidentally, Murdoch already owns TV stations).

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is trying to change the agency’s ownership rules to pave the way for Murdoch to get exactly what he wants. Worse, Genachowski and Murdoch are keeping this all very hush-hush, hoping you won't notice.

These changes wouldn’t just benefit Murdoch. If the FCC proposal passes, one company could own the major daily newspaper, two TV stations and up to eight radio stations in your town. And that one company could be your Internet provider, too. What is the FCC thinking?!?

http://act.freepress.net/sign/murdoch_powergrab/?source=website_node_feature





Why are my Spider Senses tingling?


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:00 PM

14. Makes it easier for the government to spy on us

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:38 PM

19. They already are. Might as well get free WiFi out of it. nt

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:11 PM

15. the FCC has proposed delicensing further spectrum for wifi use

that will be reallocated away from obsolete public safety radio systems. I don't think they have proposed building a network of their own with it.

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Response to Sen. Walter Sobchak (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:48 PM

24. They're already working on re-jigging the broadcast TV spectrum.

It's likely that the proposals put forward by Google, Microsoft etc are for a public broadband access system not run by the telecoms giants. Either way, the TV broadcast band will be re-jigged for more wireless broadband services.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:14 PM

16. "Free", "public": Sounds like some kind of European socialism to me.

Our republican and corporate protectors need to keep this kind of 'socialism' away from us. We really need to keep the private, expensive, slow-speed internet service that we have now. Pay no attention to those folks on the other side of the Atlantic and how little they pay for faster internet service.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:32 PM

18. Al this talk here about breaking up the big banks, oil companies, nationalizing stuff, being good,

 

and when a government agency suggests a government run something, and all of a sudden this place becomes like FR?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:40 PM

21. Someone has to pay for it

Where would all these billions come from every year?

I worked for a company that sell systems that do this very thing at the city level, it always comes down to who's gonna write the checks.

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Response to madville (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:46 PM

23. Those FCC fees you pay the existing telecoms companies. nt

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 04:45 PM

22. My initial reaction was that it was to facilitate data mining.

 

But that horse is out of the barn. It may be comparable to the interstate highway system. Licenses on devices and transaction taxes could pay for it. Need more details.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 05:38 PM

27. Think Progress: Four Major Benefits Of The FCC’s Public Wifi Proposal

The plan, largely opposed by wireless telecom companies and supported by tech companies including Microsoft and Google, would open up publicly owned spectrum as super strength WiFi and take several years to implement. Some of the possible key benefits include:

1. Helping the U.S. close the broadband infrastructure gap. Despite being the birthplace of many internet innovations, the U.S. ranks 16th in terms of broadband penetration, speed, and price. A staggering 96 percent of U.S. residents live in areas with two or fewer wireline internet providers, and 5 percent live in areas without any providers. A massive public work Wifi program would help deliver high speed internet access to areas currently lacking and provide competition in areas with limited choice.

2. Using wireless spectrum as a public good. There is a debate raging over the best use of publicly owned wireless spectrum, with some business interests advocating for the space to be auctioned to private companies — creating the potential for monopolies. Using the spectrum for provide free internet access to the public is a way to to make sure average users benefit, rather than big corporations.

3. Expanding freedom of expression online. The United Nations calls freedom of expression online a human right, but not everyone has internet access in the U.S. and private attempts to build out access haven’t been able to bridge the gap. Eliminating the cost barrier by providing access for free will undoubtedly expand the number of total U.S. internet users, thus giving more people a voice online.

4. Bolstering innovation. Expanding the number of internet users means expanding the market for internet devices — that’s one of the reasons tech giants including Microsoft and Google are supporting the plan — and opening the way for more experimentation and innovation in that marketplace. The original Washington Post story notes that the last time the FCC opened up a spectrum for public use, creativity in the form of “aby monitors, garage door openers and wireless stage microphone” directly followed.

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/02/04/1536631/four-benefits-fcc-public-wifi-proposal/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 05:51 PM

28. Seeing how this country has effectively destroyed free broadcast TV,

somehow I think that THEIR idea of free wifi and MY idea of free wifi might be a little at odds.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:01 AM

33. You've got that right.

Your idea of "free" means that you pay less to get a better service.

Their idea of "free" means that they pay less to profit from it and that
redirects *their* bills to *you* (directly or indirectly).

It's funny how many people upthread have leapt to the previously unreachable
conclusion that this "free" wifi means a step towards a socialist utopia without
understanding that with *exactly* the same people at the top controlling things,
it simply is not going to happen.

Talk about "wake up and smell the coffee" ...?!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:30 PM

30. Sorry, I have to think that it can't be any worse than the internet providers we have now. nt

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