Dec 15, 2008
A vote that would have decided whether U.S. Internet users would get access to free, nationwide broadband service has been put off. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) canceled a meeting scheduled for Thursday at which regulators would have decided whether the agency would auction off a spectrum of unused airwaves for the purpose of building the massive network.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Rep. Henry Waxman of California, both Democrats, wrote FCC Chairman Kevin Martin on Friday, asking him to hold off on any FCC business unrelated to the February switch to digital TV, according to Reuters. They’re worried that the transition will cause problems for the 15 percent of U.S. households that don’t have digital tuners and use over-the-air antennae to receive broadcasts.
Dec 2, 2008 | 16
Free, broadband Internet service could become available across the country if the government okays a proposal to open up unused public airwaves to bidders.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to vote Dec. 18 on whether to auction off the so-called AWS-3 spectrum, an unused chunk of airwaves. The winner would have to agree to use at least 25 percent of the spectrum to build a free, national broadband network (one free of porn, too, for anyone except for "adults" who click online agreements claiming to be 18 or older), but could charge a fee for faster service on the remainder. The network would reach 95 percent of the U.S. population, especially those in rural areas where broadband is less accessible, according to FCC spokesperson Rob Kenny.
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