Categories
News

Are operators blocking free US mobile broadband?

Over in the US, there’s an interesting plan brewing. The Federal Communications Commission is planning to auction a piece of spectrum off under the proviso that the winner of the auction has to offer a free wireless internet service with part of the spectrum.

Operators, it seems, have been dragging their feet and causing delays, saying they need to do technical testing to make sure the new service won’t cause any interference with the mobile services already out there.

From the New York TImes:

Representatives Anna Eshoo and Edward Markey suggested the operators might have other motives. “We are concerned that incumbent wireless carriers are seeking unnecessary and unprecedented testing delays to prevent new innovative competitors from entering the market,” they wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin

How many times have we seen this sort of scenario? Operators see something coming that’s inexorable yet they reckon it will hurt their bottom line, so they drag their feet for as long as they can rather than thinking up new ways to make sure they stay ahead of the competition. Fingers crossed we see this free wireless service as soon as possible.

3 replies on “Are operators blocking free US mobile broadband?”

You won't see any such thing, IMHO.

We've had attempts at 'free' wireless data before. Most recently, the steaming pile of FAIL that has been municipal WiFi. Nice idea, pity the laws of physics, user expectations and market forces got in the way.

You get what you pay for, and if you pay nothing that's what you'll get. So unless you are happy for your taxes to pay for 'free' data (there's a can of worms right there regarding market distortions) no-one's going to bankroll it.

It just doesn't work. Think about it – Say some MNO is forced to offer truly free mobile data as part of their licence. So everyone piles on in – it's truly free, right? Tragedy of the Commons ensues. The customer experience is then abysmal. Only the utterly skint would be prepared to put up with it. Everyone else realises they like paying a bit for QoS. Back they go to their previous supplier.

Ho hum.

You won't see any such thing, IMHO.

We've had attempts at 'free' wireless data before. Most recently, the steaming pile of FAIL that has been municipal WiFi. Nice idea, pity the laws of physics, user expectations and market forces got in the way.

You get what you pay for, and if you pay nothing that's what you'll get. So unless you are happy for your taxes to pay for 'free' data (there's a can of worms right there regarding market distortions) no-one's going to bankroll it.

It just doesn't work. Think about it – Say some MNO is forced to offer truly free mobile data as part of their licence. So everyone piles on in – it's truly free, right? Tragedy of the Commons ensues. The customer experience is then abysmal. Only the utterly skint would be prepared to put up with it. Everyone else realises they like paying a bit for QoS. Back they go to their previous supplier.

Ho hum.

You won't see any such thing, IMHO.

We've had attempts at 'free' wireless data before. Most recently, the steaming pile of FAIL that has been municipal WiFi. Nice idea, pity the laws of physics, user expectations and market forces got in the way.

You get what you pay for, and if you pay nothing that's what you'll get. So unless you are happy for your taxes to pay for 'free' data (there's a can of worms right there regarding market distortions) no-one's going to bankroll it.

It just doesn't work. Think about it – Say some MNO is forced to offer truly free mobile data as part of their licence. So everyone piles on in – it's truly free, right? Tragedy of the Commons ensues. The customer experience is then abysmal. Only the utterly skint would be prepared to put up with it. Everyone else realises they like paying a bit for QoS. Back they go to their previous supplier.

Ho hum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.