Will the wireless era be neutral or tiered? Pro business or pro consumer?

Coming soon could be a wireless broadband world in which consumers get to pick any smartphone or other device and load any software on it — and not have to take what the wireless carrier wants to sell. That’s the goal of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin, who will propose sweeping new rules for wireless airwaves the government is auctioning early next year. The 700 MHz spectrum, being vacated by TV stations as they go digital, is coveted for its ability to penetrate walls and other obstacles. Under Martin’s proposal, to be circulated in the agency as early as today, mobile services in these airwaves would have to allow consumer choice. “Whoever wins this spectrum has to provide … truly open broadband network — one that will open the door to a lot of innovative services for consumers,” Martin said in an interview Monday…..The FCC chairman said he has grown increasingly concerned that the current practices “hamper innovations” dreamed up by outside developers. One example: mobile devices that also can use Wi-Fi, such as a home network or airport “hot spot,” for Internet access. “Internationally, Wi-Fi handsets have been available for some time,” Martin noted. “But they are just beginning to roll out here.”

Read this item from the USA Today

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Filed under Business 2.0, Community WiFi, Broadband, Net Neutrality, Regulation

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