Why can France have Free Wifi and we can’t? Here’s why.
The idea of running a free WiFi network in the U.S. isn’t new. M2Z has been lobbying the FCC to open up the designated spectrum for roughly two years. The business of providing free high-speed wireless access would work like this: The WiFi provider (such as M2Z) would agree to provide service nationwide, and would subsidize the service with location-based ads served by Google or a comparable search engine. M2Z also expects to provide a faster premium service (for $20 to $25 per month) to help generate additional revenue.And it could take a long time to build. Under the provisions attached to the spectrum, the provider would have to have serve 50 percent of the population in four years’ time and 95 percent of the population in ten years’ time. While FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has expressed interest in offering a free, filtered (porn-free) nationwide broadband network, the wireless carriers aren’t quite as enthusiastic about it. What’s their problem? While the U.S.’ broadband penetration lags behind fourteen other nations, wireless carriers complain that free WiFi service could interfere with their own networks. What they probably mean, though, is that free WiFi will threaten their existence. Click here for more.