Broadcasters can give the people what they want and need, so says SpectrumEvolution.org (SEO) via a new website — www.Free-Internet.us –designed to assist both the government and the public in understanding how broadcast spectrum can immediately be put to use to provide essential wireless broadband Internet services in both urban and rural markets in a free and open, rather than a “government-planned marketplace.”
Says SEO: “The FCC has proposed to take up to 20 channels away from broadcast spectrum and auction them to wireless companies to provide broadband services. That approach will diminish the diversity of media voices and concentrate more spectrum in the hands of the two wealthiest companies that will control over 80% of the wireless market, if AT&T goes through with its proposal to buy T-Mobile.
The FREE-INTERNET.US initiative provides for both the ongoing operation and/or the creation of a new traditional broadcast television channel, combined with the conversion of some broadcast spectrum to a high efficiency free-to-air broadband Internet service. The benefits include providing a financial base for local programming in smaller markets that have little or no such service and a platform for service to unserved and underserved rural, minority, and niche audiences of all kinds, while still satisfying the need for spectrum to support exploding wireless demand.
These services can be provided at much lower prices than wireless companies now charge, including advertiser-supported FREE wireless Internet services. There are already more than 2,000 low power television stations licensed in the United States that will be able to provide both local television and wireless Internet services if the FCC will only set them free to do so. In addition, there are applications for many, new low power TV channels pending along most of the nation’s interstate highway corridors and in small communities nationwide. Legal notices have appeared in newspapers announcing these applications.
Providing broadband through these low power stations will bring service to rural communities first, instead of their being at the end of the construction timetable, as has historically been the case with nationwide wireless companies.”
The site provides a venue for the public to express their desire for this service and includes Congressional and FCC contact info, as well as an opportunity for individuals to participate in an online petition.