The FCC’s Proposal For A Free Nationwide Wireless Network

The FCC’s Proposal For A Free Nationwide Wireless Network

The federal government wants to create a free wireless network across the U.S. to bridge the "digital divide." But some telecom companies oppose the idea. Diane and her guests discuss the pros and cons of free Wi-Fi service.

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.

Guests

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.

Related Items

Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct and Terms of Use before posting your comments.

Our address has changed!

The Diane Rehm Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.