Monday, October 13, 2008

FCC Opens Free Wireless Internet Access

Even though this article wasn’t very entertaining, it was very informative. Just recently the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) announced that they have given the “green light” to allocate a chunk of “wireless spectrum” for free internet services across the nation. For those of us that take for granted free “Wi-Fi” this may not seem like big news. However the new service provided by the FCC would benefit the lower income Americans who may not have access to the internet. Not all of us can be so fortunate to attend UMW.

Here is where things start to get interesting. “Adopting a national policy to stimulate the deployment of broadband in underserved areas of the nation could have dramatic and far-reaching economic impacts,” say the authors of a recent study by the nonprofit Connected Nation. By implementing the FCC’s program it would help alleviate the economic strain by providing more jobs for the lower class. This article estimates that this plan would make around $100 billion dollars a year, and would create or save 2.4 million jobs.

With the internet you can search for jobs easier, post your resume, and talk to employers easier. You could also take classes online either for educational purposes or for a trade skill. This saves on-the-site training time, and could give the individual a “leg up” when applying for a job.

The only flaw in the proposal so far is how the FCC will transmit the Wi-Fi. T-Mobile warned that the service would interfere with their 3G wireless services. However the FCC tested the service and determined that their servers would not present a “significant risk of harmful interference.” The wording of that statement sounds like the FCC would actually interfere with T-Mobiles service, but not enough to harm them. From an outside perspective this looks like the government (FCC) will just bypass T-Mobile to insure that their program will work.
I really don’t see any flaws in this program so far. It will offer more jobs for Americans. It will help online revenue. It will increase global interaction over the internet. It will only help the economy. Not only will the lower class have access to more job opportunities, they will also be able to read the headlines in the news. This looks like a win-win situation, except if you work for T-Mobile.

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