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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Free WiFi May Be Coming to a City Near You

Free WiFi May Be Coming to a City Near You

Posted: 02 Dec 2008 12:55 PM PST

By Taylor Pratt
The FCC will vote on a plan this month that would bring free WiFi nationwide, according to a Reuters. Although strongly opposed by the cell phone industry, the plan calls to auction public airwaves with a mandate that the winning bidder set aside some for free Internet nationwide.
You might think this is a no-brainer, but it isn't all cupcakes and puppies.
Free WiFi Pros
  • Free nationwide Internet access (obviously).
  • With the lack of competition, Internet prices are continuing to rise. This would force Internet providers to lower prices to stay competitive.
  • Internet speed would most likely be mid-level DSL speed (with the ability to upgrade for a fee). Don't forget, people are still paying for dial-up out there (how do they survive?!).
  • The FCC's office of engineering and technology says there would be no significant interference with other airwaves.
Free WiFi Cons
  • The winning WiFi bidder would most likely incorporate some type of advertising platform into the WiFi service.
  • T-Mobile believes that the free WiFi would lead to interference with the adjacent spectrum (even though the FCC's engineers say it shouldn't).
  • Pornography and other offensive content will be blocked (yep, people are upset about that).
I haven't heard anything about how they plan to secure the public WiFi.
What are your thoughts on free nationwide WiFi? It seems inevitable.
Taylor Pratt is a Search Marketing Specialist at nFusion, a results focused marketing agency.
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