The FCC's Proposal For A Free Nationwide Wireless Network
February 5, 2013 The Diane Rehm Show from WAMU and NPR
Access to the Internet has grown from just 10 million people in the early '90s to more than 2.5 billion today. But a third of households in the U.S. still don't have high speed internet access because they can't afford it. To address the growing "digital divide," the federal government is proposing the creation of a free, public wireless network nationwide. But the plan faces opposition from telecom companies who say valuable spectrum should be sold at auction and not given away for free. And they warn that unlicensed airwaves could interfere with existing broadcasts. Diane and a panel of experts discuss the pros and cons of free Wi-Fi.
Scott Cleland president of Precursor LLC, a research consultancy for Fortune 500 companies, and Chairman of NetCompetition, a pro-competition e-forum supported by broadband companies.
Susan Crawford professor of Cardozo Law School, fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and former technology adviser to President Barack Obama.
Todd Shields reporter at Bloomberg News.