Kevin Martin Agrees To Drop Filters From Free Wireless Web

from the still-doesn't-have-much-support dept

M2Z's big plan to provide wireless internet to the entire country, if the FCC would just hand over free spectrum, never made all that much sense to us. Yes, the country could have a much better broadband infrastructure, and there are some interesting possibilities in the wireless space, but simply handing over a bunch of spectrum to a single startup company with a promise to provide free wireless to most of the country just seems like a boondoggle. There's little evidence that the plan would work or that it is even necessary. So, it seemed good that the plan went down in flames earlier this month -- though, most of the criticism was focused on the pointless requirement for anti-smut filters on the free connectivity.

However, Kevin Martin is making some news today by telling everyone who will listen that he's willing to drop the filters part if he can get the rest approved. This is a little surprising from Martin, as he's been a pretty big anti-smut crusader in his role at the FCC, but perhaps he's looking to leave a legacy beyond "AT&T lackey" now that he's about to leave the FCC. It still doesn't appear that he has the support to push this through, but that could change. Still, it would be good if someone (anyone?) could explain why it makes sense to just give a single company this spectrum without any clear reason why it should get the spectrum or proof that it can provide what it wants to provide in a reasonable manner? We've seen tons of promises about broadband wireless over the years from upstarts and very few have gone anywhere. Before just handing over valuable spectrum to one provider, why not see if (a) it's actually necessary and (b) if the company in question can actually provide what it claims it will provide.

Filed Under: broadband, kevin martin, wireless
Companies: fcc, m2z

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2008 @ 4:57am

    Re: Most?

    95% + 25% = 120%, so right off the bat your comment confuses me.

    Besides that, it's generally infeasible to require 100% coverage for much of anything. There are places in the country that don't have access to indoor plumbing, let alone cellphone coverage, let alone wireless broadband that hasn't even been set up yet. 100% would be great, but how do you want to measure that? Should I be able to get Internet Access on any random backroad in Wyoming? Or is it just OK to cover the places people generally live and work?

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