T-Mobile USA isn’t happy about it, but FCC engineers say that a theoretical free wireless internet service can safely co-exist with T-Mobile’s 3G wireless service, which consumers have to pay for. With interference concerns brushed aside, spectrum may go to auction sometime next year. The winner would have to provide service to 50% of the nation within four years and 95% within ten.
RBR/TVBR observation: A place we’ve vacationed at has free wireless internet. It is absolutely a great thing for tourists, most of whom seem to drag a laptop with them wherever they go these days. The service was supported by local advertisers who want the tourists to be aware of their existence. This isn’t our area, but it seems to us that making such a service universal is bound to generate some pushback from commercial providers, though. We’ll be watching.