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Free Wireless Band Gets FCC OK

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the hear-me-now dept.

Wireless Networking 77

narramissic writes "Last month the FCC conducted tests to determine whether mobile devices using a new US radio band (2,155 to 2,175 MHz) with free wireless service would cause significant interference with cell phones using a nearby band. Now, the results are in and in a report released Friday, the FCC concluded that 'the analysis shows that an AWS-1 and AWS-3 device operating in close proximity does not necessarily result in interference.' Still, T-Mobile accuses the FCC of basing its conclusions on new assumptions that weren't used when the tests took place. But at least one party is happy: M2Z praised the report, saying 'There is no longer any need for American consumers, the public interest and the FCC's regulatory process to be held hostage as it has been for the last five months by incumbent carriers... who have used unfounded claims of interference to disguise their intent to prevent the introduction of new broadband competition in the AWS-3 band.'"

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Get the FCC OK! (-1, Offtopic)

initialE (758110) | about 6 years ago | (#25367105)

FCC Off - that's how I read it.

Re:Get the FCC OK! (1, Interesting)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25368335)

I agree. The FCC is "off" on this decision.

I'm afraid I'm going to lose my over-the-air DTV reception. I can easily imagine the girl next door going for a jog & turning-on her whitespace-enabled Ipod to stream Miley Cyrus radio. Then all my Washington D.C. stations will disappear since her Ipod will think those are open channels. That's just great; just wonderful; how brilliant of the FCC Chair to damage free television.

Since OTA viewers have already given-up channels 52 to 83, let the white space gadgets use the space. There's no need to interfere with channels 2 to 51.

Re:Get the FCC OK! (2, Interesting)

eno2001 (527078) | about 6 years ago | (#25368757)

Exactly my thinking. The problem is that the FCC is making decisions without proper and careful scientific measurement of the data. This is just plain crooked. I blame the fact that consumers have been duped into accepting poor quality is the norm. Look at how much cell phones and smart phones suck ass. NO ONE would have accepted these products in the mid 20th century. Can you imagine what would have happened to Bell telephone in the 1960s and 1970s if customers had conversations dropping in the middle with no explanation? No one seems to expect companies to strive for perfection these days. "So what if it interferes a little with a few people here or there. That's 'highly unlikely' and where it happens it's only one or two people"! No more quality I tell you. I'm starting to sound like my inlaws...

Re:Get the FCC OK! (3, Informative)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25371195)

Here's a video produced by the National Association of Broadcasters that shows what happens when somebody uses a "white space" gadget to connect to the internet on-top of an existing station:

http://broadcastengineering.com/hdtv/video-show-congress-white-space-interference-1014/ [broadcastengineering.com]

I hope Congress does the right thing and turns-down the use of these devices on channels 2-to-51. I don't want my television viewing to devolve to the poor interference displayed in the video.

Re:Get the FCC OK! (1)

eno2001 (527078) | about 6 years ago | (#25372245)

Thanks for that link and +1 Insightful to you. Not sure why I was modded a troll above because I was being serious even though I sounded like I was telling some kids to get off my lawn.

Re:Get the FCC OK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25375209)

Great, now I know what interference is. Now how about some evidence that using this band would actually result in interference?

Re:Get the FCC OK! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25379125)

Here's a video produced by the National Association of Broadcasters that shows what happens when somebody uses a "white space" gadget to connect to the internet on-top of an existing station:

http://broadcastengineering.com/hdtv/video-show-congress-white-space-interference-1014/ [broadcastengineering.com]

I hope Congress does the right thing and turns-down the use of these devices on channels 2-to-51. I don't want my television viewing to devolve to the poor interference displayed in the video.

Is this NAB video any less fraudulent than the studio-produced audio CD it distributed to Congress in 2000 to "prove" that interference would be caused by community low-power FM radio stations to its members' stations?

That NAB fraud was so successful, they're apparently trying it again:
http://www.allbusiness.com/services/motion-pictures/4835673-1.html

-bernieS

Re:Get the FCC OK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25378513)

You wont lose your long range DTV. Did you know that there are wireless microphone company's that have be in of the FCC for decades and, even when dozens of those are in operation in a area . There are many takes on the tests done, look up WISPA and the involvement they have in this industry

Strawman people, Strawman

Re:Get the FCC OK! (2, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | about 6 years ago | (#25370373)

yea, it's just too bad you don't own the airwaves. the radio spectrum is a shared public resource--a limited resource at that. therefor, the FCC made the right decision by choosing public interest over corporate interest (or in your case, an incredibly small minority interest).

i highly doubt this ruling will suddenly cripple all DTV broadcasts, but even if it did, it's still preferable to have a free wireless broadband data network over a free DTV network. why limit this UHF spectrum to DTV broadcasts when using it to extend broadband infrastructure would provide much more public utility? the major TV networks can stream video/audio over the internet, which the public can receive using free wireless, but limiting this spectrum to DTV broadcasts would not allow the public to access the web, internet radio, streaming video, VoIP, and the endless list of other applications an open/public network like the internet enables.

it may be an inconvenience to you that you cannot receive DTV signals from far outside of their broadcast area, but that's hardly a reason to impede technological progress. stop thinking so small and try to see the bigger picture here.

right now a handful of cellular carriers and telecoms hold a complete monopoly on telecommunications with their proprietary communication networks. because of this, they can charge extortionate rates while providing shoddy service. they also have complete control over what devices can connect to their networks and, because their business model depends on it, purposely cripple consumer handsets (such as disabling the use of mp3s as ringtones to force subscribers to buy them from their carrier at jacked up prices), hindering the development of new and potentially useful cellular applications (e.g. video calls or much earlier adoption of mobile TV).

compare this with the progress of the internet/web over the same amount of time. anyone can develop their own applications on the internet because of its open nature. this has fueled innovation and spurred the growth of the web as an application platform. frankly, the internet provides much more benefit & utility to the average person than closed/proprietary telecom, TV, and radio networks. and as a generalized digital communication network, the internet is capable of filling the roles of all of the above specialized proprietary networks. you can already make & receive calls using VoIP (and even video calls with VVoIP), and internet radio offers a much more diversified range of music than the Clear-Channel-dominated FM radio. the public also has access to a lot more video content on the internet than with traditional terrestrial broadcasts.

heck, you can broadcast your own internet video stream and run your own "TV" channel once all of these parallel (and redundant) proprietary networks are absorbed by the internet. the internet allows regular individuals to be content producers rather than just consumers. this decentralization of content distribution has resulted in a democratization of the media. and once we have a nationwide public wireless infrastructure, internet media will be able to go anywhere that TV/radio can go today--and much further.

Re:Get the FCC OK! (1)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25371299)

>>>yea, it's just too bad you don't own the airwaves. the radio spectrum is a shared public resource--

That's no excuse for broadcasting over top of existing NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CW, MyNetTV, PBS, Ion, et cetera television channels. Those of us who rely on over-the-air television already gave-up channels 52 to 83 for cellphones and wireless internet. Stop being so "entitled" and greedy. Leave channels 2 to 51 alone!

>
>>>it may be an inconvenience to you that you cannot receive DTV signals from far outside of their broadcast area

I'm NOT outside my broadcast area. I'm inside Washington D.C.'s designated area, but it just so happens that signals are weak here. I can get them so long as nobody turns-on an interfering transmitter (like a white space gadget).

>
>>> stop thinking so small and try to see the bigger picture here.

You first. I don't think I should have to give-up my access to live television (and tornado or other storm warnings) just so you can download some porn. There's plenty of other bands you could use. How about channels 52 to 83 - use them.

Leave channels 2 to 51 alone.

Re:Get the FCC OK! (1)

badkarmadayaccount (1346167) | about 6 years ago | (#25387497)

If your DTV is getting interference from *nearby*, but not overlapping channels, then its just plain broken. Either that, or the other device. End of discussion.

Re:Get the FCC OK! (1)

theaveng (1243528) | about 6 years ago | (#25398305)

You don't get it because you don't watch over-the-air television. If you did, then you'd know that OTA television is finicky and even something as small as a tree can cause dropouts.

Now imagine somebody broadcasting their whitespace-enabled Ipod over top of WBAL-11 while I'm trying to watch it. The result will be that channel 11 will disappear off my set.

Also are you aware that channels 36, 37, and 38 are used for hospital devices? Just what we need: Somebody turning on their whitespace gadget and causing a heart monitor to shutdown & kill a patient.

Re:Get the FCC OK! (1)

badkarmadayaccount (1346167) | about 6 years ago | (#25431253)

Get a bigger, better antenna, raise hell that the signal quality sux, (because if its that finicky, it is), and, if anything lesser than a nuclear detonation within 100 km can fuck up hospital devices, they arent built right either.

Re:Get the FCC OK! (1)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25371383)

>>>it's still preferable to have a free wireless broadband data network over a free DTV network.

Feldercarb. How am I supposed to get tornado or other storm warnings if my DTV doesn't work??? Free over-the-air DTV warnings & alerts that SAVE PEOPLE'S LIVES are *far* more important than the ability to stream Miley Cyrus radio with your Iwidget.

Re:Get the FCC OK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25378579)

Again, our government sticking its nose in where is shouldn't. Were does it say in the constitution we have a right to free WIFI? Our government can't even run what it is supposed to with any efficiency or common sense. What makes you think they can manage this? And I certainly don't want my tax dollars wasted to try it...Morons.

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[...]does not necessarily result in[...] (5, Funny)

cosmocain (1060326) | about 6 years ago | (#25367167)

...well that's one concrete result. in other words:

rain does net necessarily result in getting wet. (see here [wikipedia.org] for methods of not getting wet.)

Re:[...]does not necessarily result in[...] (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#25367281)

Yeah. Upon reading that phrase 'does not necessarily result in interference', I actually thought 'well, straight sexual intercourse doesn't necessarily result in the female getting pregnant, either, but it happens often enough to cause people use protection.'

Re:[...]does not necessarily result in[...] (2, Funny)

blindd0t (855876) | about 6 years ago | (#25367589)

Yeah. Upon reading that phrase 'does not necessarily result in interference', I actually thought 'well, straight sexual intercourse doesn't necessarily result in the female getting pregnant, either, but it happens often enough to cause people use protection.'

So are you saying we should wrap condoms around wireless microphones to prevent interference? =P

Re:[...]does not necessarily result in[...] (3, Funny)

Amouth (879122) | about 6 years ago | (#25367795)

thats just good hygiene

Re:[...]does not necessarily result in[...] (1)

ivucica (1001089) | about 6 years ago | (#25368259)

And antivirus protection

Re:[...]does not necessarily result in[...] (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#25369257)

Plus, the wire screen of many microphones can be kinda scratchy....oh wait, you were using the microsophone for talking into, right?

Re:[...]does not necessarily result in[...] (1)

eno2001 (527078) | about 6 years ago | (#25370261)

No. I think he was saying we should wear condoms on our heads to prevent rain from interfering with our satellite receivers. Probably over the tin foil hats though.

Re:[...]does not necessarily result in[...] (0, Redundant)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25369183)

That's the problem - interference. I'm afraid I will lose over-the-air reception. I can easily imagine the girl next door going for a jog with her whitespace-enabled Ipod streaming Miley Cyrus radio. As a result some of my Washington D.C. stations will disappear, since her Ipod incorrectly believes those are open channels. Lousy decision.

Since OTA viewers have already given-up channels 52 to 83, let the white space gadgets use that space. There's no need to interfere with channels 2 to 51.

Re:[...]does not necessarily result in[...] (1)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25371099)

Here's a video produced by the National Association of Broadcasters that shows what happens when somebody uses a "white space" gadget to connect to the internet on-top of an existing station:

http://broadcastengineering.com/hdtv/video-show-congress-white-space-interference-1014/

Re:[...]does not necessarily result in[...] (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 6 years ago | (#25374059)

Right, because an extremist link by people with an incentive to not share is completely valid.

It's FUD, there are a number of assumptions that they made in making that which weren't justified, and at the very end they left a loophole so that they'd still be right even if it never happens.

What you don't seem to understand is that the FCC has for many years required devices to meet certain criteria to be allowed. It's rather arrogant to suggest that the small portion of the public that chooses not to have TV is more important than the part of the public which doesn't have access to the internet or the much larger group that might need the technology.

The FCC is there to make sure that things are orderly and they have for quite a while been responsible for certifying devices. The assumption that just because it uses the same or similar spectrum that it's going to cause that kind of interference is specious. Things like the power of signal and shielding make a huge difference.

Re:[...]does not necessarily result in[...] (1)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25380623)

Clearly you don't understand a very simple concept:

If WBAL in Baltimore is broadcasting on channel 11, and somebody's white-space-enabled Ipod *also* starts broadcasting on channel 11, then there will be interference with one another. The FCC should not allow Ipods or any other devices to be overlapping channel 2 to 51. Those should be reserved for television, and nothing else.

Only certain phones don't work (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about 6 years ago | (#25368355)

They tested on lots of phones but found only the iPhone to not work correctly. For some reason, your music will all come out sounding like DEVO remixes.

Re:[...]does not necessarily result in[...] (1)

Eil (82413) | about 6 years ago | (#25374225)

...well that's one concrete result. in other words:

rain does net necessarily result in getting wet.

Sorry, I'm not sure I follow completely... can you try it again with a car analogy instead?

Any competition is good but.. (4, Insightful)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | about 6 years ago | (#25367169)

All competition is good but really its not really that great. Their internet will be censored and it will only be 300kb/s. It certainly can't hurt but really there is two sides to this story. It really wouldn't be worth the hassle for this somewhat mediocre internet if it causes interference with cell phones.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (3, Insightful)

theaceoffire (1053556) | about 6 years ago | (#25367271)

Yeah, but most people don't even need fast dial up for the amount they do online.

Give all of those "Login, check email, login tomorrow" users free internet, and the only people left with these asshole IP companies will be us real users.

^_^ THEN the IP companies will have to start treating us like we matter, instead of just disconnecting our service if we complain/try to use our service/whatever.

Not to mention, these areas with one provider will actually have competition for the first time.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | about 6 years ago | (#25367677)

What in the world is "fast" dial-up? That's an oxymoron AFAIK. Whenever I try to use my AT&T DSL freebie dial-up at remote locales I quickly remember that each web page takes at minimum 4 minutes to load properly.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (2, Insightful)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25368471)

My first modem at 1.2 k is slow dialup. ;-) My current dialup service uses image/test compression to load a webpage in just a few seconds - same speed as my home DSL connection at 700 kbit/s.

Using dialup is not the great tragedy most people think it is... I even use mine for downloading 70 or 150 megabyte episodes of Stargate Atlantis or Doctor Who. The FCC's proposed "free lifeline wireless" at 300 kbit/s could perform the same task in just half-an-hour.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25367581)

There are plenty of devices (TiVo, MythTV, cars, internet controlled cameras, internet sensors, and a whole bunch of other devices) that can benefit from a free, always on connection.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (2, Interesting)

sowth (748135) | about 6 years ago | (#25367657)

I am on dialup and I am ignoring your 'only 300kb/s' statement. Also, why does it seem government officals always want to censor everything? This is against the constitutional idea of the state not estabilishing a religion. It isn't against my religion to view naked pictures or violence. As for the argument to "protect the children", I think the fake violence which is out of touch with reality is more damaging to children.

The FCC isn't doing this to create free internet access. They are trying to make the fact they are selling off all of our radio spectrum more palatable. (Though maybe the US edition of the Taliban wants us all to have censored internet too.) Read the article:

The FCC is considering auctioning off frequencies in a band between 2155 and 2175 MHz to operators that would be required to offer free wireless data services in that band.

Where do you think all the money is coming from for things like the bailout? Besides taking huge loans and printing money, the government is "creating wealth" by selling off our rights. What will be next?

This is why we are stuck with only a few small crap bands for 802.11 wireless networking. Just imagine if the FCC had allocated the spectrum freed by analog TV for public wireless networking. We could have networking which could reach miles not feet. You would essentially have a sharable network with all your neighbors. This would make the internet obsolete for most P2P operations--among other things.

Interference is a strawman cellphone and other companies use because they don't want any competition. They are quite happy charging absurd amounts for their services.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (4, Informative)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25368561)

The FCC censors over-the-air television or radio in order to protect children. It makes sense they would do the same for over-the-air internet.

If you don't want child-friendly service, then go purchase cable tv, satellite radio, or private internet. Those are not censored & offer lots of adult nudity or swearing or sex.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about 6 years ago | (#25369461)

The FCC censors over-the-air television or radio in order to protect children. It makes sense they would do the same for over-the-air internet.

No it doesn't. It censors indecent and profane things during the day (well, and obcenity... but that's only because the Supreme Court has ruled Obcenity as an exception to the first amendment.) That's because there are only so many channels and to not limit the access of children during the day. Since the same constraint doesn't apply to the web, there's no reason for the FCC to try to censor it, and it would be illegal unless congress changed the laws the FCC operates under.

I can go to the library and view porn... the government doesn't really try to censor the internet in my view (offer valid in US, void in China, other places I have no idea.) At least not as far as restricting what sites adults go to.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25370077)

I agree the web should not be censored, but if the web is available from, say, your television web browser, then it makes sense to filter the content to protect the children.

And that's exactly what the FCC decision does - it provides free internet over-the-air, but filters it.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about 6 years ago | (#25370511)

I agree the web should not be censored, but if the web is available from, say, your television web browser, then it makes sense to filter the content to protect the children.

The FCC disagrees with you. They say that since the web is not prodcast, it doesn't have to be censored. It's not about "protecting the children." It's about "not restricting the choices of the children". In other words, there are, what 12 over-the-air channels in VHF, + some number more in UHF. The point is that there aren't that many. And it's unfair to children to set aside some of those channels for adult use, as it restricts their choices. Which is why the restrictions get relaxed between 10 and 6, because kids should be in bed then.

Since the Internet does not have the same limitations on sites producing content, it should not be restricted. And that's the current FCC position.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25371155)

Okay.

So why did the FCC decide the freebie wireless internet (discussed in the article) needs to be filtered. You did read the frakking article didn't you? Let me quote it for you:

"Martin's proposal is to auction off the spectrum, with some rules attached. Some of the spectrum would be used for free Internet service, which would have content filters to block material considered inappropriate for children."

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about 6 years ago | (#25377199)

Either there is something wrong with my "Find" function, or the word children doesn't appear in the article.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

witherstaff (713820) | about 6 years ago | (#25370129)

You know you can go to a church and read porn? The bible's got some twisted stuff in it.

Having had a religion class every school day growing up, I can say that kids develop a knack for finding the good parts.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25369485)

Or, the parents could do their jobs in the first place instead of handing it off to the FCC to do it for them. The world shouldn't revolve around families with children, and their need for "protection". There are a lot worse things going on in a high school bathroom than you'll find on uncensored media, I assure you.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25373059)

You better be a high school student or have a very good explanation as to why you are in a high school bathroom...

And the problem with your argument is... (4, Interesting)

zifn4b (1040588) | about 6 years ago | (#25370385)

You are comparing two different things. For television and radio, they each have a public and private version, over-the-air television vs. cable tv and over-the-air radio vs. XM satellite radio. In both cases, the two "networks" are for the most part mutually exclusive with the exception that the private networks may carry public content on their networks but not the reverse.

On the other hand, there is one internet. Whether it's public internet access or private internet access both still connect to the same internet. The other thing is with over-the-air television and radio you are required to have a broadcast license with the FCC. Are you suggesting that every content provider on the internet should have such a license because it can be accessed via public internet access? Or are you suggesting that the provider of public internet access should be responsible for the content of the internet? In the private sector, it has already been determined that network service providers cannot be responsible for the how their networks are used much less for the content on the internet. It follows that one could not expect the same from a public internet access provider for the same reasons. It is simply not possible for the provider to filter their network traffic because clever users will always find a way around it.

We can take this logic a step further and ask whether all public places of business that have no age restriction and offer free WIFI access have to censor their internet access because a child could potentially view porn through their internet connection.

Personally, I consider the internet something you use at your own risk. I also think the same responsibility that lies with the parents to be aware of and use appropriate measures to filter the internet using private internet access also applies to using public internet access.

I also sincerely hope that you are not suggesting that a separate public internet be created because it would essentially be useless. People would complain about not being able to access their mail accounts and favorite web sites etc. etc. You really don't want to go back to the days of Compuserve and AOL 1.0 *shudder* do you?

Re:And the problem with your argument is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25378353)

FYI: Serious ISP's do have broadcast licenses with the FCC. Not all (serious) ISP's have (or need) them. I my self am a wireless ISP using both licensed and unlicensed bands.

Also, the FCC to allow WiFi like devices in the analog TV bands. The devices will need to detect TV stations and automatically not transmit on those bands, regardless of settings.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

californication (1145791) | about 6 years ago | (#25371697)

I partially agree with you, that children need to be protected, but I partially agree with the arguments submitted below you, that the gov't shouldn't be responsible for censoring the internet.

What I think should be done is that either the ISP or the parent's should be held responsible for the content child have access to on their home internet.

The ISP's should be required to make a good-faith effort to help the parent's control the content that their children have access to, while the parent's should accept the full responsibility of monitoring their child's internet access.

If their child get's access to donkey show porn, there should be some kind of consequence for the parent: a fine, forced to take a class on parenting and the internet, banned from having in-home internet access for x number of months.

If the ISP did not make a good-faith effort to help the parent to control the content, then they too should face a consequence: a fine or potentially losing their right to be an ISP.

I would consider a good-faith effort to be. providing the parent with functional parental control software (client or server side). Cox's parent control/security software is crap, so I wouldn't consider that a good-faith effort. Easy to follow documentation for the setup and configuration of said software. A convenient email and phone technical support solution for the setup and configuration of said software.

This would put the responsibility and therefore power in the hands of the ISP and the consumer. Of course, the FCC can insure the policy is working by "auditing" the effectiveness of the ISP's policies.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

GWBasic (900357) | about 6 years ago | (#25388701)

The FCC censors over-the-air television or radio in order to protect children. It makes sense they would do the same for over-the-air internet. If you don't want child-friendly service, then go purchase cable tv, satellite radio, or private internet. Those are not censored & offer lots of adult nudity or swearing or sex.

I don't like buying back my freedom. If I have to pay money to be free, then I'm not truly free.

We really should be saying something like this:

The FCC mandates that over-the-air television and radio is free and uncensored in order to protect our childrens' freedom. It makes sense they would do the same for over-the-air internet.

If you want child-friendly service, then go purchase $en$ornet cable tv, $atellite radio, or private internet. Those are censored & allow you to control what your children are exposed to.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

electrictroy (912290) | about 6 years ago | (#25368651)

>>>We could have networking which could reach miles not feet.

(1) You already have that - wireless internet over your cellphone or laptop.

(2) Unless you were talking about networking *directly* between Ipods or Ipod-like gadgets across miles of space??? In that case, you'd need a large 100 watt transmitter, and said transmitter would empty your Ipod's battery in about... 5 minutes. Clearly that's not workable.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 6 years ago | (#25370409)

Simple
Odds are the majority of the people of the US want this to be free of porn. It is public airwaves so the public can put what ever restrictions on it they want.
They used to require each channel to provide x amount of educational content everyday. Now that rule is gone we have the infomercial instead of "Natural Gas and You" or Insight. I would like to see more regulation of the airwaves and not less but that is just my opinion.

I don't really see a lot of value or harm in this but maybe it will mean universal free internet access for things like car sat navs or maybe I could make a portable last.fm player.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (2, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about 6 years ago | (#25368133)

As long as they allow SSH, no censorship.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

badkarmadayaccount (1346167) | about 6 years ago | (#25388229)

What makes you think they'll allow it? Its only used by child pornograghers, terrorists and drugies, you know. Along with that AWFUL NNTP, and torrents. God, I wish I was joking. *sigh* *facepalm* *shootshimself*

Re:Any competition is good but.. (4, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 6 years ago | (#25368405)

Can't hurt? Yes, it can.

We're talking about a government approved wireless network they want to reach 95% of the country, while leaving one specific kind of content behind. This is more than just competition, this is a significant force in the market and quite frankly, a transparent attempt to reduce the availability of ONLY porn to a large percentage of the population.

It's also quite unconstitutional for the government to be granting one company the right to censor users while the government profits from that censorship. They want people to look the other way because "it's free", but it isn't free.

This is an ad-supported network, so it isn't free for users at all. I'm still paying for it by viewing those ads. And to accomplish this they are either doing DPI, or targeting by location to deliver ads by modifying traffic (even worse than censoring), or they will force users to install specific software on the machine to access the network.

None of this is acceptable, especially because of the involvement with the government.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about 6 years ago | (#25369895)

Where did ad-supported or no porn come from. Neither is in the article as far as I could tell. The condition for buying a chunk of spectrum for cell phones was that a sliver be set aside for free wifi. This seems good.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

penix1 (722987) | about 6 years ago | (#25370461)

"Set aside" != "Used". Worse, when $MEGA_CORP buys that spectrum, they are not only under no obligation to develop it but everybody else is prevented from using it. It has been, and ever shall be a lock-out tactic.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 6 years ago | (#25370575)

The companys name, M2Z, is in the story and at the top of this page. Read M2Zs press releases and their website and those things are all present.

The plan here is to filter porn (ONLY porn) out of the "free" network, support it with ads by doing (i believe) location based targeting. They say they will offer non-filtered service for a price, but with all that crap setup to screw with users traffic and insert ads, no thanks.

There simply isn't any way to justify this porn filtering crap. If they want to protect children, there are more important things you could be filtering, like oh say, violence? If the goal is to keep unnecessary traffic off the network, perhaps they should be blocking youtube, or any number of other ways people like to waste time on the internet, porn is not the most significant bandwidth user or time waster. Taxpayers aren't funding this either, so the "taxpayers don't want to pay for porn" excuse is also bullshit.

What is left would be the obvious, that some special interest group pushed for porn to be filtered from this network or perhaps even pushed for this network to be created with the specific intent of reducing the overall availability of porn to the public.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

Starcub (527362) | about 6 years ago | (#25381341)

The plan here is to filter porn (ONLY porn) out of the "free" network, support it with ads by doing (i believe) location based targeting. They say they will offer non-filtered service for a price, but with all that crap setup to screw with users traffic and insert ads, no thanks.

So basically your problem is that you're upset you won't be getting free access to porn? Tough. Porn is targeted primarily towards yuppies, and anyone who has money to buy porn, is going to have money for a decent connection to view it over...

This network is targeted to serve the general public and people won't want their free less than 300kb/s already ad spammed, proxy bombed internet connection to be clogged by addictive high bandwidth content that provides no value in comparison to other high bandwidth content that offers a lot of value to the general consumer...

If the goal is to keep unnecessary traffic off the network, perhaps they should be blocking youtube,

...like umm, YouTube.

Re:Any competition is good but.. (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 6 years ago | (#25413497)

This isn't about bandwidth. There are other significant, still useless, users of bandwidth they could be blocking and aren't. This is about reducing the availability of porn to the public with the governments permission and blessing.

As i pointed out it isn't free either, if i'm going to be watching fucking ads to pay for it i better be able to use it for whatever i want. There is no reason to be blocking ONLY PORN.

This might cause interference (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25367257)

Because of the F-squared issue, the band of conformace will be hypermodulated. But what does the FCC care? They all voted for MacKane, and will probably be eating salmon burgers tonight with their xylophones. T-Mobile is my dog who catches birds of a net spoof.

from M2Z website (2, Informative)

thedonger (1317951) | about 6 years ago | (#25367273)

Since September 2007, the FCC has conducted a rulemaking that would establish rules for the 2155 - 2175 MHz band. M2Z along with tens of thousands of Americans, over 400 state, local and federal officials and a coalition of national organizations have participated in the proceeding and have asked the FCC to establish a free nationwide wireless broadband network with protections against children viewing inappropriate content.

Price notwithstanding, I guess it won't be entirely free...

Free as in....... (2, Interesting)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 6 years ago | (#25367449)

As long as they keep the cost below $700 billion....

Re:Free as in....... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25368137)

Why is this modded interesting?

Re:Free as in....... (1)

thedonger (1317951) | about 6 years ago | (#25371625)

The fed actually gets 5% of the gross from M2Z, and presumably any other company offering free Wi-Fi. (M2Z makes money from ads and premium services to people who wish to use their Internet connection to whack off.)

Due Diligence (5, Interesting)

SemiSpook (1382311) | about 6 years ago | (#25367529)

Well, I just took a gander at the actual FCC OET report, and I'm not buying it. Here's why:

1. It was a bench test. Nice, but if you really want to stand up to any REAL interference, the only way you're going to find out what's wrong is to put it up in a live environment (such as what they were doing in Reno).
2. The report acknowledges omissions of several variables that WILL affect emissions when the system goes live. That's a disqualifier right there.
3. The speed of publication. I find it very hard to accept such a hastily written report about a bench test coming from OET when they still haven't figured out what's going on with the 700 MHz band.

And to think, I could have been working with these guys. Glad I decided to look elsewhere for employment. Sheesh.

Re:Due Diligence (1)

mdrisser (605168) | about 6 years ago | (#25369425)

And then there's the track record of these 'tests'. Remember BPL? The carriers and the FCC BOTH claimed that there was no interference to any of the radio bands, until the Amateur Radio community proved them wrong. Time will tell, a live test environment is a good way to test, but even then there are conditions that occur in some areas that do not occur in others, so a live test environment is only a start.

Re:Due Diligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25370045)

What were they doing in Reno? I go to college there and am interested in this story.

Lobbyists to the rescue! (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25367639)

Not to worry, poor telecommunications giants! Lobbyman is here to protect you! The evil FCC got you down? No problem, Lobbyman will buy off Congress to step in an save your gravy train! Sure Lobbyman is expensive, but then a great hero always is. So let the money flow and let the consumer be screwed!

Re:Lobbyists to the rescue! (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 6 years ago | (#25368457)

In this case because of the censorship crap, the interests of free speech and the interests of the other commercial providers are aligned for the moment, so if they want to fight this I'm fine with it.

Well (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | about 6 years ago | (#25367873)

One simple issue is this : there are a stupendous number of wireless devices manufactured and sold. Some are software defined, such that a simple change of firmware will cause the radio to transmit on disallowed spectrum.

Perhaps these devices should be heavily engineered to deal with interference more than depending on FCC regulations to prevent it. Among other things, two devices on the exact same spectrum are almost always located a physical distance apart. Phased array antennae can be used to distinguish between the two, and the base station using such an antenna can then beam an individual reply packet to each distinct device.

The Free Wireless Band rocks! (0, Offtopic)

erroneus (253617) | about 6 years ago | (#25368243)

Have you heard them? They are loud and awesome! And thanks to the FCC's approval, maybe they will get more air time too! {* Rock Hands! *}

(uh... no, I didn't RTFA... why do you ask?)

Interference to PCS phones? What about Sat Radio? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25368301)

So the new free wireless band is 2155-2175. PCS is 1850-1990. Satellite radio is 2320-2345, marginally closer to the new free wireless band than that band is to PCS. Wouldn't satellite radio have more to lose? Sirius and XM users already have to receive a relatively weak signal broadcast from thousands of miles away in outer space by antennas with built in LNA's. Have sufficient studies been done to prove that nearby operation in the new free wireless band will not desense sensitive satellite radio receivers and preclude them from receiving an acceptable signal?

Re:Interference to PCS phones? What about Sat Radi (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | about 6 years ago | (#25376977)

screw Sat radio

Need more (2, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 6 years ago | (#25369003)

broadband and broadband choices in small towns, and in rural America. While the big companies squabble over market shares in the big cities, Ma and Pa Kettle are left with waving a blanket over a smokey fire. The ISPs really need to look at the idea of nation wide coverage. I am an American, and I can only READ about high speed internet!!

Re:Need more (1)

ollywompus (599105) | about 6 years ago | (#25369787)

To put this in a way that will sound stupendously condescending: you live in a small market, your choices are limited, deal with it. That's one of the choices you make when deciding to live somewhere outside a mainstream market. Why would an ISP bother setting up infrastructure so "Ma and Pa Kettle" can have broadband? Where's the return on investment? Too often people seem to think they are OWED something, when in fact they aren't. As an example: my company started as a mac-only software company, it's what we did for the first 10 years we were in existence. Then we introduced a Windows version of our software that sold in tandem with the Mac version, opening up our options for selling software. When Apple switched from OS9 to OSX, we looked at the re-dev costs to move to a completely new software base (classic mode notwithstanding), looked at the fact that our Windows business was now 95% of our sales, and decided to drop our support for the mac platform. The point? I still get whiny mac folks to this day bitching about us not writing mac software, "forcing" them to use Windows. Do they care that it wouldn't have been at all profitable for us to do so? Do they care that the 5% that were our mac customers weren't enough to sustain that project? No, because they live in the "me, me, me" world of their own private bubbles. They think that we are somehow OBLIGATED to provide them that, and that we are FAILING THEM because we don't. Bullshit. No one owes you broadband, and if you choose to live in a market where it's not profitable for an ISP to provide it, then don't whine. At least you have clean air and less traffic, should I bitch about that on my side? But of course the Guberment is quick to agree with you, that it's somehow a 'right', so the whole thing falls apart in the end, and my tax dollars pay for you to have better competition. /rant

Worse than it is now? (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 6 years ago | (#25371997)

From interferencezones.com: If these companies get their wish, you could be watching the big game, your favorite movie or breaking news when your pristine digital picture freezes, pixelates and the sound shuts off. Not exactly the ideal way to watch television.

My digital channels do that randomly now. Yeah, it's probably a Charter cable problem and not interference, but it's irritating as hell when you're trying to watch something. Are these devices in question going to make it worse?

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