The Federal Communications Commission has rejected a proposal for a free coast-to-coast wireless service. The idea, which had been under consideration for four years, would have seen a no-cost, advertisement-supported, though fairly low- throughput wireless broadband service. Higher speeds would have been available on a for-pay basis.
A number of questions about the potential for the service had been raised, given it would have been markedly slower than service available through many Wi-Fi hotspots. xG’s Rick Rotundo, interviewed by IT+ Telecom News, was among those who doubted the plan’s viability, comparing it to “municipal wi-fi on steroids.”
The company sponsoring the plan would have received 20MHz of currently unused spectrum to deploy the service. In the end, the proposal ran counter to the growing emphasis on promoting more efficient use of existing spectrum assets (as seen recently with the FCC’s recent white spaces vote) through opportunistic-use technologies such as xMax.