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.