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FCC wants free wireless broadband

Free broadband for country dwellers?
Free broadband for country dwellers?

The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wants to allocate a portion of the wireless spectrum to provide free broadband for certain customers.

"There's a social obligation in making sure everybody can participate in the next generation of broadband services because, increasingly, that's what people want," Kevin Martin said to USA Today.

The move comes after reports of the growing need for connectivity in the US as part of the day to day routine.

Out in the sticks

The problem is the more remote areas of the US, where high speed broadband is difficult to access. Around 38 per cent of rural customers are connected to broadband, compared to 60 per cent in suburban areas.

"More and more people expect and demand to have access to the Internet and new wireless technologies," Martin says. "It is important that the (FCC) try to find new ways to address" those needs.

Another problem is those households with low income, where typically only one person in four with an income of less than $20,000 (£10,000) has broadband.

The allocation would only need 25 per cent of the spectrum, leaving the rest available for premium broadband and services.