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M2Z's Free, Wireless Broadband Killed In Advance

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the sorry-wrong-bribe-please-try-again dept.

Wireless Networking 113

mspohr writes with a sad excerpt from Fast Company: "Despite a seemingly stout business plan, and all the financial, social, and educational benefits it would bring, the FCC's just turned down M2Z's application for a coast-to-coast free wireless broadband system. ... The FCC is known to have heard complaints about M2Z's plan from existing wireless carriers. Though M2Z's network would've operated at under 1 Mbps peak speeds — meaning it was very slow by today's standards, and probably snail-like by tomorrow's — its free pricing may well have tempted many folks away from spending cash with an established ISP. Those carriers are now reported to be pleased with the FCC's decision, though they argue it's in line with the greater National Broadband Plan. Whenever that actually gets off the ground."

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Free Internet! (5, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487856)

Citizens: What a great idea! Slow, but available. If I can't and/or don't want to pay a lot for faster Internet, we have an option!
FCC: Sorry, but this isn't in the best interests of the corporations.

Re:Free Internet! (4, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487904)

Great plan! It would take care of the whole 'right to internet' idea, and make the US one of the first countries to effectively roll out some form of free internet to all citizens. Putting the country at the forefront of modern rights for its citizens. Any government 'for the people' would jump at this idea...
Yeah, I can see how the corporatocracy would think this is a bad idea. There is no profit in citizen rights...

Re:Free Internet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33487908)

No doubt. I think with all that is happening lately the FCC and most other Federal agencies just need to be dissolved. No longer are they doing what they are supposed to so they need to be altered, or abolished.

Re:Free Internet! (1, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487970)

Let me get this straight, the solution to federal agencies giving corporate interests what they want in preference to what the citizens want is solved by abolishing them? I'm sorry, but there's something about that which I clearly don't understand. That seems like the solution to getting a bit wet in the rain from puddles is to cut holes in ones umbrella.

Re:Free Internet! (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488262)

From what I can see, AC isn't saying it's a solution. It's a next logical step.

Re:Free Internet! (0)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488424)

Sorry to be a pragmatist but someone's got to pay for the backhaul, its maintenance, and inevitable raft of Cisco routers that make it all work. I wish we could ride for free, but lacking a rational funding model, it doesn't work, doesn't have real reach, can't be maintained, and is super-sucky slow. That's not progress. Do you want to have to watch an ad before you get email?

Re:Free Internet! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33488550)

Why not? We already do that with television. Who died and made you the sole arbiter of what progress is and isn't?

Who put you in charge? (5, Insightful)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489396)

Did you RTFA? No, of course not. They claim they have a good business plan. What's more, it's none of your or the damned government's business to judge their business plan, it is their investors' money, and if they want to throw it away, it is, literally, THEIR business.

And if you don't like watching ads, don't. But it's none of your business, again literally, if others do, or even whether others do.

Re:Who put you in charge? (2, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489676)

Well, yes, I RTFA.

Remember MetroPCS?

And yes, I get to judge their business plan, just like you do, like the FCC did. Is it none of my business? Then why is it yours? Hijacking a discussion because you don't like the criticism seems inane.

From 1977 to here, I've watched loads of ostensibly interesting products fail for two simple reasons: 1) not enough 2) lack of capitalization. Do you wonder why the US falls so far behind in broadband? It's because the geography to cover it is miserable. This scheme is both underpowered, and vastly under capitalized. Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile can't adequately cover the geography, and they've spent billions and billions and billions.

Do I like any of these carriers-- no-- they're uniformly hideous and my choice of Verizon is based on the best of the worst, IMHO. The FCC did what was prudent, bribes from the telcos aside.

Re:Who put you in charge? (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491252)

That's pretty funny, saying that it's ok for you to tell other people how to spend their money but not ok for me to tell you that isn't any of your business. Tell me when the great Eurasion war is over, will ya?

Re:Who put you in charge? (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#33492070)

Of course! How else is liberalism supposed to work?

Re:Who put you in charge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33494256)

This scheme is both underpowered, and vastly under capitalized. Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile can't adequately cover the geography, and US taxpayers, via government subsidies spent billions and billions and billions.

There, FTFY

Re:Free Internet! (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489656)

Many people will choose to pay and get better speed and no ads. However, if my choice was watch an ad or have no internet at all, I guess I would watch the ad. Many people need wireless internet too infrequently to justify paying for it, but wouldn't mind an ad or two in exchange for occasional use.

It wouldn't exactly be the first time the FCC allocated spectrum for an ad supported service...

Re:Free Internet! (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489758)

An ad-free world is a beautiful world. Don't let the marketers co-opt what should be reasonable net access.

Free speech also has the connotation of not having to listen to vacuous tripe as admission price.

Re:Free Internet! (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#33490550)

Let me get this straight, the solution to federal agencies giving corporate interests what they want in preference to what the citizens want is solved by abolishing them? I'm sorry, but there's something about that which I clearly don't understand. That seems like the solution to getting a bit wet in the rain from puddles is to cut holes in ones umbrella.

I took it to mean something more like throwing away a broken umbrella. I am personally in favor of trying to fix it, rather than disposing of it.

Re:Free Internet! (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487920)

Careful there comrade, they're listening. (After all, they are the FCC).

Re:Free Internet! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33489974)

I've got an idea. That senator of yours -- you know, that ol' boy that's been in there about 30 years -- get rid of him! Do a little homework on your candidates before penciling in the name you've seen on the most billboards.

Re:Free Internet! (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487954)

Does this mean I can't get the free WiFi's for my free iPhone? [slashdot.org]

Re:Free Internet! (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487980)

Considering that my Nexus One was purchased by me and doesn't require any service whatsoever to operate other than a WiFi or bluetooth connection, this could be very bad for cell carriers. Skype for instance seems to only need a fraction of what this would provide. Granted it would require a second device at this stage to make it available to my phone, but it would allow me to be completely without cell service over much the country and still able to talk. Consequently, it's hardly shocking that the cell carriers would want this thing dead.

Re:Free Internet! (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488022)

While that's true, we have to move along with the times - companies will live and die as technology changes.

Anyone remember Internet Cafe`s ? Used to be very popular before you could get wifi on your mobile/laptop at MickyDee's.

Re:Free Internet! (2, Insightful)

pyrosine (1787666) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489038)

Tell that to the RIAA

Re:Free Internet! (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488082)

First if you RTFA it seems they are using the old "ad-supported" model, I highly doubt they would allow skype and the like. Secondly bandwidth isn't the only consideration for Voip, latency is actually a much bigger factor and I doubt a network like this would have latencies that would make having a phone conversation a possibility. Unless you hate your friends of course.

Re:Free Internet! (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488580)

latency is actually a much bigger factor

You can have a reasonable VoIP conversation with 200ms latency and a usable one with 1 second latency. The thing that really kills VoIP is jitter. As long as the latency stays roughly the same from one packet to the next, you just notice slightly longer pauses than are natural, or both of you talking at once briefly. When the latency fluctuates, you either get a drop in quality or you need big buffers (adding more latency) to compensate.

Re:Free Internet! (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488116)

TFA is short on details on how it could be financed. How they planned to make money out of it, other than "advertising". Putting ads in existing web pages was the suggestion. I wonder how they do that: a top frame with M2Z's ads? Interstitials between every visited page? They probably do not want to give too many details as otherwise an FF extension to filter those ads would be ready before the network could start operating.

On the other hand it goes to show how cheap data connections really are, and how cheap wireless really is to roll out.

Re:Free Internet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33488578)

Your second part is right on. Once you have the existing infrastructure built (usually using taxpayers money and then sold to a corporation), it is very cheap to continue running the equipment.

If they needed to, they could adopt the PBS model and ask for donations to support them. Or, if it needs a new wireless card, you might add a lifetime service fee to that.

I will never pay for internet access, there are enough free wifi points around me to take care of my needs. And this sound like it would be perfect solution for a lot of people who need low data rates, but coast-to-coast coverage.

And the advertisements would be even better. Let's say you car is getting low on gas, there would be a lot of close-by gas stations saying buy gas here...

Re:Free Internet! (3, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488292)

And who should we blame? Corps, who like everyone, has their best interests in mind, or those who grant their wishes? It should be pretty clear as to the real cause of monopolies...

Re:Free Internet! (2, Insightful)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489216)

The cause is a constant flow of money from corporations to government officials.

This undermines the democracy, as officials tend to represent those who elect them.

Without such external money, the officials would tend to represent the voters.
With such external money, and a system that requires expensive campaigns, the officials will tend to represent those who fund the campaign.

One way to fix the problem is to eliminate political donations entirely, and only have government funded election information broadcasts (debates, candidate info pages, candidate Q/A,...), on common media (internet, tv, magazines,...).

Another way to fix the problem is enforce a per-person donation limit, and realize that a corporation is multiple people. A corporation would be required to have people within the corporation (stockholders and/or employees) sign off on the donation. The donation amount would be limited according to the number of people that agree to it.

Re:Free Internet! (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491948)

The solution seems obvious to me: don't give anyone the power to do things like this. Without that, no amount of bribing will bring it about, because there's nobody with that power to bribe in the first place.

Re:Free Internet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33490266)

You blame the FCC. The corps have their interest at heart, and you can only expect them to throw money lobbying the FCC when it's known to work. If the FCC's job to decide what's right for the country, not just the corporations.

I have "free" speeds around this range now... (1)

JimMarch(equalccw) (710249) | more than 4 years ago | (#33492126)

Basically I'm getting the 'net with speeds like these guys were talking about "free" with the cellphone I'd be paying for regardless.

I travel a lot and need "internet anywhere". I was using Verizon's cellmodem (EVDO) service with an Expresscard device (Kyocera KPC680) for $60 a month flat rate, plus $80 a month for unlimited talk on a regular cellphone. It was just too much. Speed at speedtest.net was generally about 1.2mb/s inbound, creepy-slow outbound (little better than dialup, no hope of uploading a video).

I did some research, scored a Tmobile-branded Sony-Ericsson TM506 phone at a pawn shop for $60. Doesn't look like much but it was their first 3G phone and mine happened to be completely tether-friendly in Linux. $80 a month at TMobile turns it on for voice AND data - and in any reasonably urban area I seem to find 3G coverage at which point the thing can do data and voice at the same time - data obviously slows down some but what the hell, at least I can take a call. Tether speeds are around .8mb/s inbound, about .3-.4 outbound, so uploading a video is actually practical. Tethering speeds between USB and Bluetooth seem more or less identical, at least in Ubuntu Lucid.

You have to do your research on which phone to get - the TM717 is a later variant of my phone that has to be hacked on a bit to tether but it's no big deal. Some of the late versions of my phone might need tweaking. For anything else the key feature you need is HSDPA data and do some googling for Tmobile compatibility. TMobile is the most tether-tolerant of the major cellcos.

Point is, speeds in this range are usable. Doesn't sound like much and is absolutely not going to be a good idea for major torrents and such, but for basic stuff including Youtube/Hulu/etc. it works.

So let me get this straight... (3, Insightful)

geogob (569250) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487882)

... the application was turned down by the FCC for undisclosed reasons, but following the application of many complaints by the competitors. mmmm.
This sounds about as bad as something our good friends at the CRTC would do.

The argument that it went against the bold national broadband plan is really unsettling. Maybe we should somehow remind them that it's not because broadband should be available to everyone that everyone wants to (or can) pay its price.

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488790)

Can we ball up the WHO, the FCC, the WTO, the US senate, the US House, IP Lawyers and CARB and ship them all off to China?
Please?

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489888)

You do know they would view that as an act of war don't you?

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 4 years ago | (#33491856)

What's your beef with the World Health Organization?

It would have worked great for basic internet.. (3, Insightful)

3.5 stripes (578410) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487884)

You don't need that much bandwidth to read email, or browse non *tube sites. The article doesn't say if it was open AP free or free with registration (which would have greatly reduced the OMG porn factor), but I'm guessing free with registration, because OMG terrorists.

Re:It would have worked great for basic internet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33488052)

Even at 768 kbps, that's not terrible for viewing most youtube videos -- just pretty slow for HD ones

Gotta love the wireless lobby

Re:It would have worked great for basic internet.. (1)

pyrosine (1787666) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489084)

From what I can tell its upto 1mb/s for the AP, so it is split by everyone connected, so there is little chance anyone would get 768kbps

Re:It would have worked great for basic internet.. (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488102)

No, with the internet it's OMG (don't) think of the kids.

I guess it would be like BT Cloud access here; You have an account, you are presented with a default login form when you connect to an access point, you log in (or register) to connect to the tubes. Only unlike BT Cloud, it doesn't cost stupid money.

Re:It would have worked great for basic internet.. (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488320)

The local government is trying to do somthing similar in my town. Free wi-fi low-band internet with the option to upgrade to 20mbit for a price. Trials are happening in an ajoining village but I've not heard much back.

Seems like a good idea to me.

http://www.swindon.gov.uk/latestnews/latestnewsheader/news/newsitemdisplayv2.htm?itemid=135507

http://www.getsignal.co.uk/

Re:It would have worked great for basic internet.. (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488728)

You don't need that much bandwidth to [...] or browse non *tube sites.

You wish! I can totally feel the sites being slow when I am not on 3G. And this is with plugins blocked. Even being far from the originating place will hurt loading time considerably. There are homepages (mind you, it is and should be the most frequently accessed page) that weight 1MiB, and this is for ISP websites! If I am not at peak speed it can take three-four seconds to load them. I feel back in 1995...

If you are going to have a "National Plan"... (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487894)

...it is going to include things you won't like, This is just a taste of things to come.

Re:If you are going to have a "National Plan"... (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487990)

...it is going to include things you won't like

You mean like random popups of incumbent politicians a la 'ChatRoulette'?
pop!
Congressman: Hi there, I'm Congressman Johns... pop!
Senator: Hi there, I'm Senator ... oh, hi Bob. I didn't know you were counseling this lovely citizen. pop!
Mayor: Ah, welcome to the Quimby Internet Channel.
Other: Who are you?!?
Mayor: Vote Quimby!

Re:If you are going to have a "National Plan"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33488862)

Senators on chatroulette? No, thank you. There are some things I'd rather not see a senator do.
Former senators Larry Craig and Mark Foley, I'm looking in your direction.
Gahhhh! The goggles! They do nothing! Former senators Larry Craig and Mark Foley, I'm NOT looking in your direction.

Re:If you are going to have a "National Plan"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33494724)

You mean like random popups of incumbent politicians a la 'ChatRoulette'?

I thought that they were working on some sort of filter to keep all of the dicks out of chatroulette

Going out on a limb and RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33487974)

Sounds like someone needs a wambulance!

" The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday said it has rejected M2Z's request that the agency demand that the winner of an auction for the radio spectrum provide free Internet service to anyone who connects to it.
The FCC didn't explain its rejection, but established wireless carriers have complained that use of the spectrum could interfere with their own services in adjacent bands. "

So 1) someone was asking the FCC to force another company (who just bid on a spectrum) to use it for free internet?

and

2) There were/are apparently some bandwidth issues with the proposal.

I think the FCC 'didn't explain its rejection" was because they were laughing to hard to hit the keys on the keyboard.

Re:Going out on a limb and RTFA (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489302)

1) Kind of. More like M2Z was asking the FCC to attach service rules to the spectrum auction requiring the winner to provide free Internet. This kind of requirement (including build-out, power, etc. requirements) are common, although providing free Internet is a new one as far as I know. M2Z could have lost the auction, although they were clearly trying to align the rules with their own intentions/business plan.

2) I don't know of any bandwidth issues, other than the 1MB max speed mentioned. Not sure if the spectrum is driving that or the tech that'll be used. Adjacent spectrum users are always going to cry about interference if the incoming technology doesn't meld with their business plans. All they have to do is cry interference and the entire process grinds to a halt.

Corporations People (2, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33487994)

Simple as that. When this system will make a large-enough-to-afford-lobbying company rich, then it'll pass.

Re:Corporations People (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488006)

Apparently the 'greater than' symbol in the title was sanitised.

Corporations [Greater than] People, is what the title was supposed to be.

Re:Corporations People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33488200)

Use > to write >.

Mobile phone providers too (2, Interesting)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488016)

If we had 1mb free wireless internet all across the country, the impact would be huge to mobile phone providers. Lots of people would just switch to using wifi and google voice/skype or similar to make calls. 1mb is more than enough to handle a non-video call.

Re:Mobile phone providers too (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489330)

And you think the mobile providers would care? You already bought the phone with the data, if some users want to offload traffic to a free service, let 'em!

I highly doubt this would deter many people from getting a data plan.

Absolutely Too Much Regulation (4, Insightful)

anguirus.x (1463871) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488032)

Think about this. This company is being criticized for trying to offer a product that is a generation *behind* the current technology. Just think if you wanted to buy a microwave, but you were forced to pay double what you wanted to because some government regulation mandated you adhere to a minimum power rating, safety features like locking doors, etc. etc. etc. It would be considered intrusive and there are a ton of people who would just say "Fsck it, I don't really need soggy pizza rolls anyways". That's what we have right now with the FCC. There are millions of Americans who have no internet because it's too expensive, and they have no need for the bandwidth. OK established corporations, game time, what can *you* offer us?

Re:Absolutely Too Much Regulation (1)

Klinky (636952) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488590)

Established Corporation Says: "We just snuffed out another chance at competition, what do we care what you want?"

Re:Absolutely Too Much Regulation (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488608)

They don't have to offer anything because they got the FCC to kill whatever form of competition this might have given them. When you can get the government to essentially grant you a monopoly without the strict oversight and regulations that are usually associated with such things (e.g. utility companies.), why bother actually trying to be competitive or offer anything?

I don't need that either. (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489454)

"Fsck it, I don't really need soggy pizza rolls anyways".

government regulation or no, that's why I warm most stuff up in the toaster instead.

Re:Absolutely Too Much Regulation (1)

jmrives (1019046) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489514)

There is no evidence of too much regulation here -- just wrong or poorly done regulation.

Re:Absolutely Too Much Regulation (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#33492500)

If regulation were done correctly consistently, there would be no such thing as over-regulation.

This is exactly what happens when there is too much regulation, and it is exactly why the amount of regulation is considered too much.

Re:Absolutely Too Much Regulation (1)

jmrives (1019046) | more than 4 years ago | (#33493702)

Sorry but you are not making any sense. Over regulation does not equate to poor regulation. They are not the same thing. Over regulation implies that there should be less regulation. Poor regulation means there should be better (not less) regulation.

"Can be used to watch porn" (3, Interesting)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488084)

The article mentions that one of the early complains against the proposed free network operation was that it can be used to watched porn.

Well of course it can be used for that. It can also be used to plan terrorist attacks. Or even more nefarious things: people may us it to discuss whether to plant yellow or pink flowers in their garden.

Interesting how this "but it can be used to watch porn!" argument pops up any time someone proposes a free or cheap new way to connect to the Internet.

It makes one wonder why this is never used seriously against established operators. Why this is never used against proposals to providing cheap Internet to poor families (supplied by established ISPs of course). It couldn't be something political, or could it?

Re:"Can be used to watch porn" (1, Interesting)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488092)

Why this is never used against proposals to providing cheap Internet to poor families (supplied by established ISPs of course). It couldn't be something political, or could it?

Poor families have a tendancy to have more children. They don't need porn.

More porn equates to LESS children (2, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488178)

"Poor families have a tendancy to have more children. They don't need porn."

On the contrary; if I am to take you at your word, it sounds like that is exactly what they need!

Re:"Can be used to watch porn" (1)

Xyrus (755017) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488336)

Hey, it's the free market! What do you expect? Why allow competition when you can crush it beneath your bootheel for hookers and blow to the right politicians?

I'm surprised this argument hasn't been used against Linux. "But you can watch porn with it!". Bet you Steve Ballmer is reading that article and kicking himself in the ass for not thinking of it first.

Re:"Can be used to watch porn" (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488420)

Linux is not high profile enough for that, and by the time it gets sufficiently high profile it will be so ingrained that, like Windows and established ISPs, this argument is considered too ridiculous to work. I see it typically used against high-profile newcomers.

Re:"Can be used to watch porn" (1)

pyrosine (1787666) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489118)

I didnt realise you can watch porn with just the linux kernel

Re:"Can be used to watch porn" (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33490998)

I didnt realise you can watch porn with just the linux kernel

You apparently haven't read some of the comments in the source code. The linux kernel IS pr0n by many standards.

Strat

Re:"Can be used to watch porn" (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489418)

Similar argument used to support the FCC being involved with indecency on broadcast TV. It's always there in the air and a child could tune into broadcast TV at any time, so there has to be indecency regulation.

Re:"Can be used to watch porn" (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489516)

Similar argument used to support the FCC being involved with indecency on broadcast TV. It's always there in the air and a child could tune into broadcast TV at any time, so there has to be indecency regulation.

Don't we have the V-chip? The FCC's role has been superseded by technology, as far as I'm concerned.

Re:"Can be used to watch porn" (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489702)

>> Don't we have the V-chip? The FCC's role has been superseded
>> by technology, as far as I'm concerned.

Off-topic, but I totally agree.

Re:"Can be used to watch porn" (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489430)

It makes one wonder why this is never used seriously against established operators.

Because the established operators are committed to battling net neutrality. Where they can claim to be able to block porn. Or anything else they are not paid for.

Anti-kapitalist decision (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33488148)

Welcome to the Soviet States of America!

Killing competition before it even starts, what kind of capitalism is that? Not to mention that in a supposedly democratic country one should be able to choose as well?

An analogy: the free news and magazines. They are available everywhere, yet still they haven't killed the big name news nor magazines.

Only ones that the FCC decision serves are the big-a$$ companies. Everybody else is loosing.

Where have I heard this before?? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33488182)

This happened in history already almost 100 years ago. Wireless... free... the only difference, it was electrical power instead of internet. They tore down the Wardenclyffe tower because they couldn't meter the power usage. Meaning free wireless Power/Internet/ doesn't work... how did Radio get past that?? Oh ads...right. The thing is even if this went through would it really stop people from paying for fast speed? Not necessarily.. The people who would use this free internet wouldn't be people who already have an ISP at home, but they'd use this on the go, or really really really cheap welfare people who just cant afford internet and never would/could pay for an ISP anyway! So who's losing out here? The people. Thank you and good night.

Re:Where have I heard this before?? (2, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489234)

This happened in history already almost 100 years ago. Wireless... free... the only difference, it was electrical power instead of internet. They tore down the Wardenclyffe tower because they couldn't meter the power usage. Meaning free wireless Power/Internet/ doesn't work... how did Radio get past that?? Oh ads...right.

Wardenclyffe can be described as a power plant only if you consider the demands of a crystal radio set to be a practical demonstration of broadcast power.

The Shoreham, L.I., tower was dynamited in 1917 - on the grounds that was altogether too useful a marker for U-Boats operating off-shore. Wardenclyffe Tower [wikipedia.org]

In 1905 your basic electric appliance is the light bulb.

There is nothing else you can buy - or at least nothing else that you can afford to buy - and your residential power demands are negligible.

Which means that residential power sales are negligible and broadcast power becomes something very close to a product without a market.

The farmer has his windmill and lead-acid batteries. The small town or factory a coal-fired plant of its own or hydroelectric power from Niagara.

These prices are from the 1922 Sears Catalog of Electrical Goods, shown adjusted for inflation:

Electric fan $10 ($127)
Sewing machine $40 ($507)
Vacuum cleaner $35 ($444)
Wringer washing machine $99 ($1268)

There is no electric stove in the catalog. No refrigerator.

The electric era really begins with the 1930s. Not the twenties. Not thee tens.

J. P. Morgan put about $150,000 ($3,000,000) of his own money into the 250 KW Wardenclyffe project - with nothing more to show for it than an unfinished building.

No transmitter - and perhaps more importantly - no receivers.

What about A2L ???? (2, Funny)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488202)

I think the FCC is just looking out for everyones best interest here. They obviously figured out that they couldn't believe M2Z's claim to offer it to everyone, when they clearly intend to exclude everyone in the A to L range!

Watch your prefix (2, Interesting)

Gryphia (947956) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488296)

If they were only rolling out a 1 milibit per second connection, I doubt it would be good for much of anything. That's 56 million times slower than an old 56k modem. A 1 Mbs (megabit per second) would be better, but still slow, and a 1 MBs would be an even better. If the plan really was for a 1 mbs connection we lost nothing by having the FCC shut it down. Or maybe someone just needs to pay more attention to their prefixes.

The Forever Network (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33488308)

Posting anonymously of course, I call (to someone who would know what they'd be doing) for an open, freely accessible network. If we can create pirate bay, we can create The Network. No more company restrictions. We create the hardware, we set up safe, intelligent systems that will self-repair for the next 10 000 years. Perhaps low-power, low-speed, but omnipresent, capable of free information sharing. A Network that will inevitably spread throughout the world as nodes upon nodes can spring up based on the simple build instructions. Organic, forever breathing, constantly evolving, improving, replicating, communicating. Free. Global. Network. Now.

Re:The Forever Network (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 4 years ago | (#33490506)

Well, there are newer routers that allow you to lock down the main portion but freely share a part of your internet connection. If people start doing this, this will, in essence, happen.

Of course, with the grief that would come from even being ACCUSED of child porn before it got sorted out, it really wouldn't be prudent to be such a nice guy... :-(

Re:The Forever Network (1)

Brianwa (692565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33493990)

You may be interested in this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athens_Wireless_Metropolitan_Network [wikipedia.org]
I found out about it in an informative discussion on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/a54yz/proggit_i_present_you_with_awmn/ [reddit.com]
Theoretically there's a similar project going on in the city where I go to university, but I've never seen a working node and attempts to get involved were met with no response :/ It's too bad that so few people are interested in participating in community networks like this.

Taken a little out of context.. (1)

neorush (1103917) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488324)

Original Article that TFA links to: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9HVCJF00&show_article=1 [breitbart.com] "[the FCC] has rejected M2Z's request that the agency demand that the winner of an auction for the radio spectrum provide free Internet service to anyone who connects to it. " It didn't have anything to do with M2Z....but I can see why they shot down the "requirement that it be free"

Re:Taken a little out of context.. (1)

locketine (1101453) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489206)

Thanks for pointing that out. I hate it when people cite blog posts for news because they're almost always wrong about the details. Would it have killed the original poster to have read the article cited in the original blog post?

Re:Taken a little out of context.. (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489448)

On top of that, M2Z could still win the auction and go ahead with their plan. It's likely that the spectrum will auction for a lot more money now, though, so M2Z will be outbid. That's why M2Z wanted the strict service rules that aligned exactly with their business model - they'd likely be the only (or at least the highest) bidder.

I'm opposed.. (-1, Troll)

rehtlog (1387119) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488378)

I'm opposed to this free internet, because I feel that it would feed the lazy drains on society that are the people that just stay on welfare and do not try to get off their feet and get a job, which is a purpose of the welfare program. With the free internet, now they wouldn't even have to choose between food or internet (which happens to be internet for a large portion of the people on the program). If you wanted free internet you could go down to your local public library (Gasp!) , local or national coffee shop, etc. Contrary to popular belief here on /. is that the internet is not a right. Saying that would be television should have been a right before the internet became mainstream. So as great of an idea this is, I think that their are other consequences if it happens. There are other other right that we already have that are being trampled on that are getting ignored, and people are demanding free internet. It almost sounds like it's a drug addiction.

Re:I'm opposed.. (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488536)

This wasn't some entitlement program, but a company wanting to offer internet access paid for with ads. The government stepped in to protect monopolies against the citizens of the country and entrepreneurship.

Re:I'm opposed.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33488772)

True, but you'd still have to buy a computer, smartphone, etc. to be able to access the internet.

Re:I'm opposed.. (0, Troll)

rehtlog (1387119) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489278)

Of course I got modded as a troll, because /. doesn't agree with me. Sigh.... Though they way that it's being perceived as that the internet is a right here on /. An ad supported internet reminds me of old netzero when it was started.

And I thought you guys trusted FCC... (1)

Palpatine_li (1547707) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488494)

with the power to bring net neutrality, in spite of ISPs' best interests?

Re:And I thought you guys trusted FCC... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489112)

And I thought you guys trusted FCC

We do?

Re:And I thought you guys trusted FCC... (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#33490022)

Trust is relative. In this case, we "trust" the FCC a bit more than we would trust unregulated telcos with no mandate at all.

Given the choice between fox and weasel to guard the henhouse, choose the weasel. It will eat all the eggs but at least it won''t kill the chickens.

Good backup for disaster (1)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488560)

This plan should continue to be developed, abet at a slower pace. In the event of national disaster, it could serve as a back-up to the existing internet structure. I know, I know, the internet itself was originally designed to be the backup of the national communications network in the event of a nuclear war that destroyed the centralized switching terminals of the phone system.

But the web now is much greater than its original design and much more fragile. In the event of a 'long emergency', if I may invoke James Howard Kunstler's dystopian scenario, it would be wise to have a low-speed low-tech internet-ready communications system in reserve.

"under one meg" (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488730)

Depends how under. If they consistently give users 900K, that is not so bad, and I see why the other wireless carriers are so afraid.

A half mile away from an antennae, 4G becomes all but useless. Since in my area antennas are spaced more than one mile apart, such a situation is common. Many areas of the US do not have 3g or 4g. If we can get a uniform coverage of just under 1mb/sec, this will force the wireless companies to compete, something they obviously do not want to do, preferring to run borderline fraudulent ads.

Most users won't be happy with this service because youtube videos and flash won't work well. Many companies won't be happy with people using this service because of the bloated pages that will take forever to load the ads. However, for organizations that want to reach these consumers, it will provide a new market. Again, the incumbents are afraid of any tech that will allow new competition.

Of course such users will have to have computers, which are still expensive. $2K a month, which I have seen quotes as the 2nd quintile, does not leave much expendable income after food and board.

Good riddance (5, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#33488744)

This wasn't a free nationwide internet plan. This was a spectrum grab with the nationwide internet plan added to sweeten the deal for the FCC.

M2Z's trick was going to be to use a spare bit of the radio spectrum, the 2GHz "AWS-3" band, and earn itself cash by embedding ads in its free Net service as well as licensing out part of the spectrum it would then be controlling for other commercial uses.

The second part is the key thing; they would have gotten the AWS-3 band, nationwide, for free, and then leased it back out.

Better then the alternative (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489370)

Lobbying against your potential competitors is better then having to pour concrete around their feet and throw them into a river.

Re:Better then the alternative (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 4 years ago | (#33489652)

yes, big business is preferable to organized crime even if it ain't the theoretical optimum...this is actually a component of the "legalize drugs" argument: it cuts off much of the most-objectionable drug-dealing-related behavior, such as that kind of violence

Competition? Competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33489846)

Competition? No! Competition is always bad bad bad. To grow the industry, you must not allow low-cost alternatives in order that the whole market ecosystem may grow and develop. In light of that, (and in keeping with trickle-down economics) you must not allow this free alternative to exist! It would be tantamount to allowing a government monopoly in the industry. We can see no good in allowing this.

-Sincerely,

Corporate ISP's of America

FCC strikes again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33490822)

And yet people want the FCC to regulate net neutrality.

Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491454)

How's that change working out for you guys?

This is why the FCC needs to be elected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33491624)

Not appointed.

Fuck the ISPs who want to continue bilking 85% of their userbase that this service would meet the needs of

Fuck them for not wanting to provide service to rural communities (I'm 35 minutes from the silicon valley and my "options" are satelite and dialup, evdo is so slow it might as well be nonexistant.)

I can download at 6mbs for 200m per day then I get cut off, in contrast people with real highspeed, watching netflix can consume 200G per month in daily activities.

This service could provide a stopgap that makes ISPs wake up to their competition. Since it would benefit rural communities as much as the 85% of customers that pay for the majority of bandwidth, while using almost none on current infrastructure. It'd also set the bottom rung for competition higher than 384k (which is what you're gonna get if you're lucky and rural.)

Behind the curve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33494042)

I'm teaching English in Korea, and I have been here for about 4 months. For a while I thought I was being clever and stealing internet from my tech-unsavvy neighbor that downloads at about 3.5 mbps. It turns out the city I'm in just has free citywide wireless.

And (1)

mahadiga (1346169) | more than 4 years ago | (#33494752)

Big corporations have become stronger and smarter and Govt cannot monitor their day-to-day illegal & immoral activities.
Govt can punish individuals but not big corporations because they can topple them e.g http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldman_Sachs [wikipedia.org]
Govt can only go for settlement with big corporations e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft [wikipedia.org]
It is better to breakup these corporations into smaller entities to solve unemployment and to promote competition.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companies_by_revenue [wikipedia.org]

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