Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Internet For Everyone Gets Support
The Internet For Everyone, a new initiative aimed at making broadband a priority in the U.S., got a big push yesterday.
"People have just accepted that bandwidth is something that American families will spend hundreds of dollars on per month. People don't realize how much we pay for how little bandwidth we actually get."
"Spectrum liberation in our time needs to be a priority for any national broadband policy," Wu said.
"And the 'white space' spectrum is a good way to do that. It offers a ton of bandwidth."
--Columbia University professor Tim Wu
Internet For Everyone Bridges Digital Divide
Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, introduced the initiative, saying it was "outrageous" that "the country that invented the Internet" ranked 15th in broadband penetration at last count.
"Closing the broadband digital divide," said Silver, "must be a national priority."
According to Silver, the campaign would not support or oppose specific legislation, but instead would champion four core principles:
-- Access (fat pipes in every home),
-- choice (real competition between providers),
-- openness (this appears to be a code word for some flavor of 'Net neutrality),
-- innovation (job creation and economic growth).
Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, who declared himself a "frustrated policymaker," said it was clear that "what we're doing in Washington today isn't working."
Google announces the Internet For Everyone Campaign
Today Google joined a national initiative of public interest, civic and industry groups to help launch the Internet for Everyone campaign, whose goal is to make ubiquitous and open broadband access for every American a priority in the next administration.
Why is Google involved? Making the Internet accessible to more Americans is part of our corporate DNA. It's what has motivated our work on municipal wi-fi, in the 700 MHz spectrum auction, our investment in Clearwire and development of Android, and most recently our advocacy in support of opening up the unused portions of the tv spectrum band (White Space) for use by Internet devices.
Google's Larry Page:
Utilizing the unused TV "white spaces" for broadband access would be a tremendous opportunity to bring the Internet to more Americans -- including those in rural areas and first responders.
Because of the much longer range of these spectrum signals, wireless broadband access utilizing the TV white spaces could be brought to more consumers using fewer base stations -- in effect, "wi-fi on steriods".
He said he is "100 percent confident" that the white spaces will be used for Internet access -- it's just a question of when.
The FCC is currently looking at freeing up more spectrum that could be used by new entrants to create new wireless broadband services.
The FCC is eyeing a proposal to free up a 20 MHz wireless spectrum to be used for free wireless services; supporting such efforts is key to supporting a national broadband policy. The commission put out a request for comments on the proposal last week.
Broadband A National Priority
There are still pockets of the U.S., especially in rural areas, where broadband is only offered by one provider or by none at all. And prices per bit are still much higher than they are in other parts of the world.
Broadband proponents see "white spaces" as an important asset to be used in expanding the broadband market.
More white space ponderings.