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FCC Proposal Would Cover the US With Public Wi-Fi 299

Posted by timothy
from the beggar-thy-neighbor dept.
pigrabbitbear writes "Internet access is an essential need on par with education access, but at what point do regulators recognize that? When will government officials acknowledge that widespread, guaranteed access is essential to fostering growth in the country? Somewhat surprisingly, that time is now, as the FCC is now calling for nationwide free wi-fi networks to be opened up to the public. The FCC proposes buying back spectrum from TV stations that would allow for what the Washington Post is dubbing 'super wi-fi,' as the commission wants to cover the country with wide-ranging, highly-penetrative networks. Essentially, you can imagine the proposal as covering a majority of the country with open-access data networks, similar to cell networks now, that your car, tablet, or even phone could connect to. That means no one is ever disconnected, and some folks – especially light users and the poor – could likely ditch regular Internet and cell plans altogether."
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FCC Proposal Would Cover the US With Public Wi-Fi

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  • Cue the (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bobstreo (1320787) on Monday February 04, 2013 @01:48PM (#42786911)

    Lobby "contributions" from Sprint, AT&T Tmobile, Comcast, Time Warner... The war chests of our representatives and senators will overflow with joy
    if they defeat this.

    • Re:Cue the (Score:4, Funny)

      by Stirling Newberry (848268) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:01PM (#42787043) Homepage Journal
      I'm shocked, shocked.

      Did I tell you how shocked I am? Really, I'm so shocked.

    • Re:Cue the (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:02PM (#42787055) Homepage Journal
      Wait...wait...wait...

      The basic premise starting this article:

      ""Internet access is an essential need on par with education access..."

      Internet access is on par with educational access? Seriously?

      While I will concede it IS important, it is helpful, and makes many things convenient these days...I seriously can't put up there with education. Internet access, while really cool and fun, is still in the category of luxury item. You can get by just fine without it. You won't starve, you won't go into convulsions, you won't die without it.

      If you really need it, and can't afford the luxury of having it run into your very own home, you can always go to the public library to use it there (ok, so looking at pr0n there might be a bit more inconvenient than in the privacy of one's own home).

      I mean, widespread use and access of the internet (more specifically for most people the web portion of it) is a fairly recent thing. People still can get by just fine without it.

      I mean..what's next...claiming internet access is a basic human right?

      • Re:Cue the (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:11PM (#42787143)

        You can get by just fine without it. You won't starve, you won't go into convulsions, you won't die without it.

        [...]
        If you really need it, and can't afford the luxury of having it run into your very own home, you can always go to the public library to use it there

        I fail to see how this differs from education.

      • Re:Cue the (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dins (2538550) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:11PM (#42787147)

        Internet access and educational access are quickly becoming the same thing. I have a 15 year old son. Of course he's good with computers and the internet (he's my son after all) but I'm amazed at what his high school coursework requires now. It all but assumes he has constant access to the internet. Hell he even uses his iPod on the school's wifi network for classwork in class.

        Of course we have good access at home, but if a kid didn't it would be a huge handicap. Yes, they can go to school computer labs and the library, etc., but even that access is dwindling now that some schools all but assume a good computer and internet access at home. His school is a very good school, but all schools will follow suit eventually.

        • by PRMan (959735)
          I donated 6 old computers from my business to a church in an inner-city area at the request of one of a pastor of a local church. They set up for the kids in the neighborhood to have a place to do their homework after school (and play around if their work was done). The pastor of the inner-city area said that the schools REQUIRED computers with high-speed access, but that 80% of the families in the neighborhood didn't have any internet access. It really opened my eyes as to how required it really has bec
      • Re:Cue the (Score:5, Informative)

        by Synerg1y (2169962) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:16PM (#42787215)
        Tell that to all the people that are employed because they self-taught themselves something using the internet. And yes you can go to the public library, plenty of people do, but the public library isn't always open & one isn't always available depending where you live. And based on your statements, people can get by "just fine" without education, it has nothing to do whatsoever with food, air, & water, but it's definitely a nice to have in that sense, so is the internet.
      • Re:Cue the (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jimmy_dean (463322) <james.hodappNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:20PM (#42787247) Homepage

        I agree. Not only is it a luxury item that is important, but it's too important for the government to control. Can you imagine the security implications and headaches a network like this would have? There are so many technical, economic and legal unintended consequences to this, it's not even funny. If the government might do anything (and even here I'm skeptical), they should help make sure that the current private means of getting on the 'net remain competitive and sooner than later, cheap Internet in many different forms will be ubiquitous without the unintended consequences that only a government can create.

        I predict this will also be a new avenue for the US federal government to regulate the Internet into oblivion. This is a setup for a massive new power grab.

        • Re:Cue the (Score:4, Insightful)

          by radiumsoup (741987) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:33PM (#42787357)

          the Sausage Master is right. Single provider = single point of control, and that's not a good thing. Competition (and by that, I mean *real* competition, none of this "we'll create health care exchanges that cut off private companies at the knees so the only thing left is the government option" bullshit) breeds innovation and lower costs. Best thing the government could do for truly stimulating competition for low cost internet (not free internet, mind you, as that's a red herring) would be to sponsor some sort of X-Prize style competition to design and implement some regional or multi-state test platform for a currently underserved area, like the Midwest or parts of the South. Hell, the government doesn't even really need to do this - it could be sponsored by the Bill Gates foundation or something similar. I'm not an infrastructure guy, so I'm sure there are caveats that would need to be spelled out in advance, but having the FCC in charge would make something as stupid as the Janet Jackson Nipplegate thing seem like the most worthwhile undertaking ever.

          • the Sausage Master is right.

            Wow, someone actually agrees with me on /. That's like a first. :)

        • Re:Cue the (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mdielmann (514750) on Monday February 04, 2013 @03:04PM (#42787725) Homepage Journal

          Not only is it a luxury item that is important, but it's too important for the government to control.

          So, more important than roads, making sure drugs are safe for their intended use, and the protection of the sovereignty of your nation. Gotcha.

        • I live up in Canada. My car insurance, electrical power, natural gas, water, and waste treatment are all provided as government-owned (that is to say, owned by *me*) utilies. Our rates are lower than the private rates in nearby provinces.

          I'm currently charged exorbitant amounts of money for internet access by a private ISP (the local cable company). I would *love* for the city to take over last-mile Internet connectivity, and then a bunch of independent ISPs could offer different packages for upstream co

      • I seriously can't put up there with education. Internet access, while really cool and fun, is still in the category of luxury item. You can get by just fine without it. You won't starve, you won't go into convulsions, you won't die without it.

        Same with electricity, yet that's actually quite important for society. You can't convince me that a kid who doesn't know how to use the internet is prepared to do anything more than wait tables. The internet is absolutely critical for being competitive.

        • by HexaByte (817350)

          Same with electricity, yet that's actually quite important for society. You can't convince me that a kid who doesn't know how to use the internet is prepared to do anything more than wait tables. The internet is absolutely critical for being competitive.

          WOW! Didn't those without an electrical infrastructure invent and construct the one we have today? Didn't people who had no internet invent the computers and internet and create it's infrastructure?

          Just how do you suppose they did that while waiting tables? I learned a lot of skills before there was ever an internet, but I guess it's because I'm smarter than you. I like the internet, I really do. But saying it's as essential as education just shows you to be a product of publik eduamcatin.

          • WOW! Didn't those without an electrical infrastructure invent and construct the one we have today? Didn't people who had no internet invent the computers and internet and create it's infrastructure?

            Just how do you suppose they did that while waiting tables? I learned a lot of skills before there was ever an internet, but I guess it's because I'm smarter than you. I like the internet, I really do. But saying it's as essential as education just shows you to be a product of publik eduamcatin.

            People who don't have internet access will not be a part of creating what comes next, just as those who did not have electricity were not part of those who created the internet.

      • by kheldan (1460303)

        Internet access, while really cool and fun, is still in the category of luxury item

        Don't know what industry YOU work in, but without internet access I wouldn't be able to get a job, and I don't think I'm unique in that respect! Most employers use job search sites or their own web page to post employment opportunities, and if you have no internet then you can't get to them can you? The days of looking through the Want Ads in printed newspapers are more or less gone.

      • Actually, you're missing a couple of points.

        If I have internet, I can interact with several government agencies, easily. Without internet access, it costs me about four gallons of gas to drive to the agency's office, wasting three or more hours of driving time, plus whatever time I spend in the office. Telephone might replace some of those in-person interactions, but then I may have to wait a week for the paperwork to come through. With internet, the paperwork is done already, before I leave the web page

        • by careysub (976506)

          Absolutely. Not only does the government, businesses, employers, health care providers, schools, etc. automatically assume you have Internet access - and make their plans for interacting with you accordingly, but they are already generally assuming you have high speed Internet access AND mobile phone Internet access also.

          Not having Internet access is much like not having access to a telephone 25 years ago - you basically cannot function in society effectively.

      • by N0Man74 (1620447)

        While I will concede it IS important, it is helpful, and makes many things convenient these days...I seriously can't put up there with education. Internet access, while really cool and fun, is still in the category of luxury item. You can get by just fine without it. You won't starve, you won't go into convulsions, you won't die without it.

        I don't think it is that much of a stretch to compare it to the importance of public education. The Internet is the modern library. It is becoming the modern newspaper. It is becoming the modern Postal Service. It's becoming the modern radio, modern television, and even the modern teacher for some.

        The FCC has already taken the stand that all Americans should have access to wire and radio services, not completely unlike how the USPS has had the goal of providing their service for all Americans, and how w

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        I mean, widespread use and access of the internet (more specifically for most people the web portion of it) is a fairly recent thing. People still can get by just fine without it.

        You've ever seen what people are doing for education these days?

        Homework assignments posted online, online research (one assignment from the McDonalds article on WiFi? A mock Facebook page about presidents). And let's not forget everyone's favorite teaching tool - Khan Academy and the "flip learning" where you do the KA lectures at

      • by dywolf (2673597)

        Internet access is the modern embodiment to Freedom of the Press, Speech, Religion, and Assembly, etc.
        In the internet you will find all these basic concepts of communication and association combined in one place.
        Access to the internet is the modern equivalent of all aspects of the First Amendment.
        It is very much just as important as a basic education, if not more so because it can itself be used to educate. /idealistic rant off

    • Sure, business interests opposed to change will always rally against it. And they'll always find receptive legislators. But they won't always succeed in keeping things the same, which is why I've bought a car and not a horse and buggy. This specific proposal? Maybe it's wildly optimistic, but lets not act like the telecom lobbyists are gods. It's possible.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hsmith (818216)
      Defeat it? Hell, they are probably lobbying FOR IT. Why try to get individual customers when you have have the government pay your company to cover everyone?

      Just like Obamacare was pushed by insurance companies - the government mandating you customers? Why would they fight it?
    • by legojenn (462946)

      You might as well toss SiriusXM in there. Who needs satellite radio if can listen to online streaming anywhere anytime?

  • by ClassicASP (1791116) on Monday February 04, 2013 @01:52PM (#42786959)
    You get what you pay for
    • by eksith (2776419)

      Use Tor, unless that's blocked somehow as well.

      This may sound silly, but I think if everyone used Tor whenever they're on a public wifi hotspot, there would be fewer problems with privacy. All these horror stories of identity theft and bank info stolen etc... etc... have happened in many cases when people used unsecured wifi.

    • by fermion (181285)
      And for many people that may be a fair tradeoff. In an environment of free Wireless, commercial ISPs are going to have to compete even harder to gain customers. This means, as now, some ISPs are going to have even more censorship, and some are going to have less. You are free to buy as you wish, or not. Free wireless will certainly result in faster speeds for everyone who pays, as it has in Kansas City, and more choices in censorship and monitoring.

      So yes, for once you will get what you pay for. No l

  • by junkfish (460683) on Monday February 04, 2013 @01:52PM (#42786963) Homepage

    Internet Access should be like Library Access.

    It is a little different because it is for knowledge, commerce, and entertainmnet.
    But it seems like a gevernment service that should provide for a populace to thrive.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Internet Access should be like Library Access.

      It is a little different because it is for knowledge,

      Learning about porn.

      commerce,

      Buying porn.

      and entertainmnet.

      Watching porn.

      But it seems like a gevernment service that should provide for a populace to thrive.

    • by wolfemi1 (765089) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:00PM (#42787027)

      Internet Access should be like Library Access.

      It is a little different because it is for knowledge, commerce, and entertainmnet.

      Why does that make it different? The library is also for knowledge, commerce (though less so), and entertainment.

  • by WillAdams (45638) on Monday February 04, 2013 @01:58PM (#42787021) Homepage

    Wasn't the intention of getting that spectrum which was used for analog TV to use it for such things? If it isn't suitable for such, why the change? If the new digital TV spectrum was suited for this, why was it sold?

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by msauve (701917)
      It's a load of BS. There's no need to buy back anything. Spectrum belongs to the people, and can't be legitimately sold, despite what the government thinks it can do. It's a public resource, and the most the government can do is manage it, not sell it.

      Just take it back and use it for a better purpose than it's being used for now. No need to "buy" or compensate anybody - they've been making money off a public resource and have nothing to complain about if that resource goes away.
      • by radiumsoup (741987) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:45PM (#42787515)

        it's not sold, it's licensed, and the Federal government already manages the spectrum, in exactly the way you probably think they should. The term "buyback" would apply to existing licenses which have not yet expired. Its current use is contested because a large number of spectrum users never actually paid for the portion they've licensed out to begin with, so to have the government pay those licensees to abandon the license is a hotly debated topic.

        But to pull the plug on licensees without giving them a viable alternative is highly disruptive to commerce. If hardware already exists which was designed for a certain band, and that band is suddenly pulled because of some bureaucrat's hardon for "free" wifi, then the infrastructure that is already in place would become useless without modification. The "buyback" funds are a way to encourage the infrastructure owners to go along with the relicensing; they would have the funds provided to convert or update the infrastructure to adapt to the spectrum change. Again, it might not be the best way to go about doing things, but it doesn't mean that pulling the rug out from under everyone is any better.

  • Nice idea, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ilsaloving (1534307) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:00PM (#42787033)

    How many municipalities have been sued into oblivion by incumbents who cried "unfair competition"?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It'll work because every 15 minutes or so my Internet access will be interrupted by a commercial advertisement or the President's latest message to the masses.

    • It's hardly necessary to get municipalities involved; in many Towns there are dozens of WiFi AP's per block.

      And nearly every one of those is locked down because there's a very real threat that opening the AP will lead to a S.W.A.T. Team kicking down your door, shooting your dog, and men-in-black ransacking your house "looking for the kiddie porn" (or has MAFFIA prosecution overtaken that in seriousness yet?).

      Fix that, and the problem gets solved organically. Oh, but reigning in out-of-control courts and DA

  • I sure can't see this being a means of catching political dissidents.
  • Source? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlm (69642) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:03PM (#42787067)

    What's the source? Its a /. post of a journalist story about a journalist story about a journalist story then I gave up trying to track back.

    I poked around fcc.gov and found almost nothing, so its either really old, really new, or really made up / out of context / unofficial daydream.

    I'm an old time reader of FCC part 97 (and others!) so don't try to scare me off with "we need non-technical journalists to translate into prole-speak" I'm quite sure I could handle the primary source... if it actually exists.

    Another thing is it won't be wifi although journalists confuse any wireless internet access with wifi. Lets say you get UHF tv channel 46 vacated and reassigned. That doesn't mean a magic firmware download, even to a SDR, will necessarily magically start working in that 662-668 MHz channel.

  • Essential need? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stevegee58 (1179505) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:03PM (#42787069) Journal
    I thought the only essential needs were food, water and shelter.
    • I thought the only essential needs were food, water and shelter.

      Imagine how much harder it would to insure those essentials if we didn't have technology created by smart people (education) with a means for those people to share ideas (stone tablets, scrolls, books, and now the Internet).

    • As needs be... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Okian Warrior (537106) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:44PM (#42787495) Homepage Journal

      I thought the only essential needs were food, water and shelter.

      That's true, along with air and sleep*.

      Also, needs are defined in different ways depending on circumstance, with no consensus. Certainly food is a need, but is sunshine? We get vitamin D from sunshine, and diet can't make up for lack. Sex is a biological imperative, but can at any time be put off until later.

      Needs also form a sort of "hierarchy" [wikipedia.org], where once you are satisfied at a certain level, adding more at that level will gain you nothing. A company can't raise morale by making the bathroom even cleaner than it is - once the bathroom is "clean enough", extra work makes no appreciable difference. Once you have enough to eat, having more doesn't make you happier.

      "Safety" is also a need, and depending on the school of thought it comes before or after food and water.

      Once you have several layers of needs met, you reach the layer of "self actualization", which is loosely "the need to accomplish something".

      That's what this proposal addresses - the need for people to better themselves, and to do something useful with their time.

      This proposal is a good idea in many ways - ethically, economically, technically, environmentally. There's no down-side that I can see.

      To take one example (economics), new businesses arise from innovation built on infrastructure. This type of infrastructure will foster an enormous boon in productivity, business, employment, and general well-being of people in the country.

      In the same manner that the Interstate Highway System [wikipedia.org] fostered economic progress by giving companies easy access to cheap product delivery.

      This is exactly the type of project that centralized government should be doing - it promotes growth, increased productivity, jobs, and general welfare. It's of benefit to the people, and not pork directed to specific selected companies.

      *I hope this doesn't read as snarky - that's not my intent.

  • Methinks . . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bogidu (300637) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:07PM (#42787097)

    My takehome pay just decreased again.

    • Re:Methinks . . . (Score:5, Insightful)

      by asylumx (881307) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:20PM (#42787249)
      I'd rather pay my $60/mo to the gov't than to Comcast, assuming I get a similar service in return.
      • Why? I am not a huge fan of Comcast and I do not mean this as a troll... I just don't understand why you would rather pay money to the government than businesses if you are paying the same amount and receiving a similar service.

        • All else being equal, I'd rather have a service provider that is legally accountable, however imperfectly, to the end users.

          • You think it's easier to sue a government vs. a corporation?

            You think it's easier to vote out a government vs. voting with your dollars and getting broadband from the alternatives (e.g. Telco or mobile)?

            I agree with you, but come to the opposite conclusion.

          • by corbettw (214229)

            Same here, which is why I think it's a horrible idea for the government to do this.

          • by Rockoon (1252108)
            I hope you don't think that the government is legally accountable...
  • Without going into conspiracy theories and donning tinfoil hats, the idealistic situation where I can go "anywhere" and WiFi is available to me, seems nice. I wouldn't need a data plan from my ISP except for extremely rural areas where network penetration is nigh impossible.

    Essentially, this is an initiative which attempts to bring everyone up-to-speed with current internet accessibility technology, and puts everyone on an equal playing ground. Folks who can't afford internet access, folks in rural areas wh

  • by sidragon.net (1238654) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:11PM (#42787151)

    The government has no business spending on infrastructure. Roads, bridges, telephones, police, fire fighters, and democracy have all been bad enough for our great nation!

  • Uh No (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:15PM (#42787207)

    I don't want the Federal Government running some general public access internet. Very Bad Idea.

    I do want the FCC to open up existing infrastructure to alternative carriers. The current plan which allows carriers to exclude competitors is very bad.

    I do want the FCC to make available bandwidth to more carriers, and to open up more bandwidth to WiFi.

    I do want Congress to pass a law banning cable franchises by local and state governments.

    I do want laws specifically enabling municipal internet utilities, especially on this new bandwidth.

  • by cdecoro (882384) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:26PM (#42787297)

    It's all well and good to talk about internet access being a "right" or a "public service," but please realize that simply because some government passes a law saying so, doesn't mean that wide-spread free internet access will come to pass. Take the example of my library: they are closed at times that someone might actually want to go, like in the evening after normal people from work, most of Sunday, and all major -- and most minor -- holidays. Their computer terminals seem to be something from the era of the IBM AT; and there are only 4 of them. The employees are surly and even aggressive, and don't care to be even the slightest bit helpful. And the entire building is decrepit and smells.

    So I have the "right" to free information at a library (actually, I pay for it in taxes, but whatever), but the manifestation of that right is such that I don't actually want it. Yet we are expected to believe that, although our government can't run a library, despite having had hundreds of years to figure out, they're going to do a great job with modern and rapidly changing technologies. Call me pessimistic, but I don't see it happening.

    The solution is to promote competition in Internet access: end the (government-created and propped-up) cable, phone, and wireless monopolies, and once there is a healthy market, let the market take care of lowering prices.

    Recall that the U.S.S.R. declared food to be a basic human right, to be provided by the government. And who could argue with that, right? Yet the result was bread lines and empty shelves. In the U.S., we don't declare food to be a government-provided right, and yet we have so much food that our poor people are obese.

    To preempt the flamers: no, I'm not arguing that the government should never have a role in assisting the poor (sometimes it should), or that companies are always good, or that the market is always perfect (they aren't; it's not). But I am extremely cautious in endorsing this as a good idea, for the above-stated reasons that have nothing to do with my own (non-existant) profit margins or political donations. So when others oppose it, please don't automatically ascribe such motives to them, either.

  • by Feyshtey (1523799) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:32PM (#42787349)
    ... what you think it means. "

    How can these jackasses continue to use words like "free" to make it sound like they are giving a gift to the nation when we are the ones they will damn well expect to pay for it with taxes? And why arent each and every one of you calling them out for it?
    • Why arent each and every one of you calling them out for it?

      Because I already pay an Internet tax, to AT&T. I've been paying it to them for 10 years, and despite a whirlwind of technical advancement they haven't improved my service or lowered my price in a decade. In fact, my home service is more constrained and monitored than it was ten years ago.

      I'm ready to try plan B.

      • Comcast it is.

        I don't think you know what tax means.

      • by Rockoon (1252108)
        Sounds more like you just want plan A with a different provider. Plan B involves actually changing the conditions that put you where you are, which you apparently arent in favor of since you are in favor of this "free" public wifi shit.
      • Or put it this way; we don't know what Plan B should be, but the benchmark for measuring its success is pretty simple. Whatever it takes to be able to tell AT&T, Time Warner, Windstream, etc. to go fuck themselves sideways and really mean it. Like we do when selecting a supermarket. Real competition (municipal broadband included) without pricing collusion would allow that.

        The implementation is left as an exercise for the reader.

  • by 7-Vodka (195504) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:40PM (#42787437) Journal

    Ya. Like the government doesn't already illegally copy and store all our data they can get their hands on. And then tries to imprison the whistleblowers that let us know they were conducting these illegal acts. I can think of no one better to host my wifi sessions *rolls eyes*.

    A strategy like that can only help to cut out the middleman and increase data availability. (your private data, availability to the fascist nutters.)

    I'm more interested in how long it takes someone to figure out the gold standards for privacy online in today's environment and make a debian distro that enables fine grained control of these standards with ease.

    When are we going to build an encrypted network on top of the internet and just cut out the government clowns?

  • If religious groups are fighting tooth and nail against a woman's right to sexual healthcare, you can imagine how much of the Internet they would want banned on public wifi. The blacklists would be longer than both of their works of fiction combined.
  • by kheldan (1460303) on Monday February 04, 2013 @03:20PM (#42787905) Journal
    I think what really needs to happen is reform of how ISPs do business and what they charge, bringing a basic level of internet service to something resembling the way basic wired telephone service used to be, so that all but the most poverty-striken can get access to it for a very low price. Let's face it: if all you need is a "subsistence" level of internet access (enough for email, slow but usable web access, no streaming of movies, large downloads, or online gaming) then you only need 1Mb/sec (or less) on the downstream side, right? With the way web pages are bloated with Flash and Javascript these days they would load as slow as pages loaded when dialup was the norm, but it'd be better than nothing, right? That's what I think needs to happen.
  • Microsoft is pushing hard for this one.... Might just save their business.

  • As far as I can tell the only information available on this is what Cecilia Kang at the Washington Post says about it. Absolutely everything else seems to be simply a rewrite of her article. Given the track record of any popular media reporting on technical issues it is hard to tell for sure what the proposal actually entails.

    This being a non-classified Government proposal circulating freely among businesses, it should be readily available to the public somewhere.

  • . . . and every phone must have GPS enabled (for safety of course), so that someone can know where everyone is all the time (for safety and rescue), and how fast they are moving at any given moment (to make sure the roads are safe, and incidentally charge you for road usage). And maybe we'll chip all of the children like we now chip pets, so we can always identify them and return them to their parents. Think of the children!

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