FCC chairman Kevin Martin said in a conference call today that he’s dropped the porn-free requirement from his plan to auction off AWS-3 spectrum in order to create a free wireless broadband network. This last-minute effort to get universal wireless broadband passed on his watch is heroic, but I’m still not sold on the use of this spectrum for slow, free wireless broadband. Read More about Adding Porn Won’t Make AWS-3 Plan Any Better
Updated: M2Z’s wait will continue, because the FCC canceled its Dec. 18 meeting, leaving the issue of free, filtered wireless broadband a likely topic for the next chairman to tackle. As broadband is a key element in President-elect Barack Obama’s recovery plan, there’s hope.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Henry Waxman today went after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin over the focus of the agency’s upcoming meeting, set for Dec. 18th, on measures that aren’t urgent or required by law. As a result of their pressure, controversial measures such as the AWS-3 auction to create a nationwide free, filtered wireless network, as well as cable carriage reform, could get booted from the agenda. The elimination of the AWS-3 decision would be a blow for startup M2Z networks, which has been peddling its two-tiered wireless broadband network since 2006. Read More about M2Z Vote Whipsawed by Politics
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin got slapped on the wrist in a new congressional report (PDF) from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that…
A 110-page congressional report issued today takes current Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin to task for allegedly suppressing and manipulating public records, not carrying out some of the jobs allocated to the FCC and generally being, well, a jerk (his “heavy-handed, opaque and non-collegial management style has created distrust, suspicion and turmoil”). The report, entitled “Deception and Distrust: The FCC Under Chairman Kevin J. Martin,” was written by the majority staff of the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the House of Representatives. And while it contains all of the inflammatory rhetoric that one expects from a political attack, some of its allegations are genuinely troubling. Read More about Congressional Report Flames FCC Chairman
As expected, the FCC said today it will take up the issue of creating yet another wireless network, and set rules on cable pricing and programming, at its Dec. 18 meeting. As commenter Tom Evslin pointed out, the alternative wireless broadband network proposed is slow, will likely be filtered and will deliver yesterday’s technology in five or 10 years into the future. However, the rule-making on cable could be a win for consumers.
The cable efforts have the potential to bring more independent channels to cable systems as well as create rules designed to halt the disputes that arise between cable companies and content providers that can leave consumers without broadcast channels and force them to pay more for channels they once received as part of a cheaper package. Looks like Kevin Martin’s last fight as FCC chair will be against T-Mobile — which opposes the wireless efforts — and the cable guys.
The Federal Communications Commission is expected to address the issue of creating a nationwide, filtered broadband network at its Dec. 18 meeting according to the Wall Street Journal. That gives that meeting the potential to be as controversial as the one held last month on election day. The November meeting approved two mergers and created the potential for free wireless spectrum over the protests of broadcasters. This upcoming meeting could create free, licensed wireless spectrum in the AWS-3 band, ticking off T-Mobile, which paid $4 billion to lease the adjacent AWS-1 spectrum. Read More about FCC To Rule on Nationwide Porn-Free Wireless Web
Google (s goog) may be getting all the advantages of the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to start opening up more radio spectrum without even having to bid big at an expensive spectrum auction. The FCC’s decision earlier this week to open up white space spectrum, the slivers of bandwidth between what’s being made available for the coming digital television stations, could eventually net the Mountain View, Calif.-based search giant as much as $5 billion more a year. Read More about Google: Money for Nothing and Your Spectrum for Free
Last Friday afternoon, the FCC issued a report putting to rest worries about interference from a free wireless broadband service using the AWS-3 spectrum, paving the way for an auction sometime next year. However, opponents of the auction, including T-Mobile, aren’t going to give up without a fight.
The original proposal for the spectrum, put forth two years ago by a Kleiner-backed company called M2Z Networks, had asked the FCC for use of the spectrum in the 2155-2175 MHz band to create a wireless broadband service. M2Z offered the FCC 5 percent of its revenue in exchange for the spectrum. It also pledged 25 percent of its network for free broadband service at lower speeds. The company would charge more for faster speeds and would build out 90 percent of its network in 10 years at a cost of $2 – $3 billion. Read More about America May Get Broadband for Free, But Porn Will Cost You
A new rule would allow phone companies to not report the data on customer complaints and network outages.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has recently taken up a populist and politically lucrative crusade against Comcast and its nefarious efforts to block certain kinds of traffic. But this is nothing more than a diversionary tactic, one aimed at taking attention away from the service providers’ implementation of metered broadband.