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FCC Considers Free National Public WiFi

Internet and phone bills may be a thing of the past if this proposal succeeds.

Believe it or not, free internet may be in your future. A report from the Chicago Tribune says the FCC is looking into the possibility of free public WiFi across much of the country.

While the proposal has thoroughly ruffled the $178 billion wireless industry, other big players such as Microsoft and Google support the idea, according to the report. They argue subsidization of this resource will lead to a new-age renaissance of development and innovation. Among the hidden benefits are big potential cost savings for local schools and businesses.

In addition to free web surfing, public WiFi could mean free phone calls, sophisticated healthcare monitoring and even driverless cars, according to the report.

Should the proposal pass, it will still be several years before the entire network is up and the kinks are worked out. Still, it would be the first time in the world any government has provided free WiFi on a national level, according to the report.

Read the whole story on the Chicago Tribune's website

Law Enforcement Student February 05, 2013 at 10:31 PM
That Would Be awesome!!
beto February 05, 2013 at 11:17 PM
Nothing is free
Juvenal February 05, 2013 at 11:18 PM
If they're gonna do that the least they can do is put a telescreen in every room too. That way I can get the latest news about the war with Eastasia, and i won't even have to leave the house to do the Two Minute Hate........
Tobias Cichon February 05, 2013 at 11:31 PM
This is how paradigm shifts and social/scientific/technological revolutions happen. I say go for it... open it up!
Mike Ruane February 06, 2013 at 02:16 AM
Since there is no service that is "free", I would rather have multiple companies competing for my business than government bureaucrats peeping through my business. This sounds like the first sign of censorship.
Linda Carson February 06, 2013 at 04:40 AM
They already read all the Internet traffic and monitor phone calls. Project Vigilant http://www.forbes.com/sites/firewall/2010/08/01/stealthy-government-contractor-monitors-u-s-internet-providers-says-it-employed-wikileaks-informant/ I'm 45 miles from Chicago and cannot get DSL or Cable of ANY kind. I also can't get WiMax.
Jen February 06, 2013 at 12:24 PM
In theory this sounds great.....but whats the catch? Higher taxes? Censorship?
Nick002 February 06, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Mike, I know that's what you learned in school, but look at the reality. Our "free market", let them compete for my business system has resulted in an oligopoly of overpriced inferior service. Check out the prices and internet speeds in South Korea, Japan and Europe. We've been deluded into thinking we have great Internet service and we don't !
Tom February 06, 2013 at 02:10 PM
But on the other hand what gives the despots better control than having the ability to shut down communication with the rest of the world? FREE internet? FREE Telephone? SOPHISTICATED HEALTH CARE MONITORING? All of this provided by the same group of inane politicians who have nothing on they're minds but getting re-elected, collecting free healthcare and huge pensions for themselves. If they can't balance the budget, where in the hell are they planning to get the money for more free stuff? Oh wait, I remember now. I'm locking my millions in a safe at home where Uncle Sam can't touch it.
Tom February 06, 2013 at 02:13 PM
One further question, Doesn't anyone who thinks this is a good idea remember reading 1984 by George Orwell.
Nick002 February 06, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Yes, the tyrannical despotism throughout Europe, the UK and South Korea is chilling. Not.
OakLawnGuy February 06, 2013 at 02:53 PM
This would be a security nightmare. If you hop on any neighbors unprotected wifi, and you have the computer smarts, you can hack their pc or share their session.
OakLawnGuy February 06, 2013 at 02:54 PM
On top of that, you think AT&T/Comcast/Megapath/etc will stand by while many of their customers drop off the paid service?
Chronicles of Bob February 06, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Yea!! And imagine if some punk steals your wi-fi, hacks into your personal CD collection of Peter Gabriel and blasts "In Your Eyes" on his Ipad, to steal the heart of your daughter... Damn immigrants!
Bob February 06, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Juve, and don't forget the camera so that the TV can watch YOU while you're watching it!
Bob February 06, 2013 at 03:13 PM
You obviously have never been to South Korea. Try criticizing the government there and find out how "chilling...NOT" the repression there is!
Bob February 06, 2013 at 03:21 PM
There will be a massive cost associated with this, it will stop dead all expansion of WiFi service areas becasue there will be no incentive to expand, and if you think the government can manage ANYTHING better than a market driven private sector you're delusional. BTW, somebody is going to have to pay for installers to get unionized double digit raises and get taxpayer highly subsidized pensions at age 55. It'll be YOU! We made airport screeners federal employees and they brought us unnecessary "groping" searches and other violations of our privacy and civil rights, at many times the private cost for the same quality of employee. Government is the "anti-Midas". Whatever they touch doesn't turn to gold, it turns to $hit!
Nick002 February 06, 2013 at 03:45 PM
What are you talking about? The Freedom House rankings of South Korea and Japan are identical -- 1 out of 7 on political rights, 2 out of 7 on civil liberties, and an overall status of "free".
Mustang February 07, 2013 at 09:28 PM
COB, I like the "Say Anything" reference...very funny
SHUSSBAR February 08, 2013 at 03:23 PM
+1. Prices (internet, phone, tv) here are outrageous and service not that create despite the companies trying to sell us that they have the greatest customer service in the whooooole world.
SHUSSBAR February 08, 2013 at 03:29 PM
'' Government is the "anti-Midas". Whatever they touch doesn't turn to gold, it turns to $hit! '' And the opposite is what ? What ever phone companies/ carriers touch does turn to gold, huge amount of gold but for them at your expense by charging you ridiculous amount of money for ridiculously poor or useless services. There must be a middle way in all of that
Chronicles of Bob February 08, 2013 at 03:42 PM
Stop it shussbar... You're making sense... Don't you know this is what Hitler did first? I can't believe that you don't see how a free market system, a huge supply, cheap product, cheap labor and competition has driven down the cost of goods like cell phones and cable tv...
Chronicles of Bob February 08, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Thank You
Mark Lenthen May 24, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Hacking over WIFI is a huge threat. This happens at hotels and coffee shops all the time. The best thing you can do is install security software from sites like http://www.wifisugar.com

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