Uncommon Wisdom

Oct 14 2008   12:24AM GMT

Spectrum auction has free wireless Internet conditions

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

The FCC has cleared the way for auction of spectrum that would be conditional on providing free wireless Internet service. The move has been controversial because most in the FCC believe that there is no way to make such a service work.

Other attempts at free or low-cost wireless services, such as municipal WiFi, have largely collapsed because advertising sponsorship was not forthcoming and problems in performance tarnished the image of the service. It may be that the greatest impact of the measure will be on the mobile advertising space, where current wireless operators will be looking to secure new ideas that will keep their own services on top and reduce the viability of a purely ad-sponsored approach.

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