Not a hearty endorsement and it will be of interest to see if Google antes up to sit at the table.
link from Consumerist.
Like a German submariner of old stalking an Allied convoy, the FCC has launched what I consider a rather significant torpedo to the Verizon/ATT/Sprint wireless franchises.
The licenses of the upper 700mhz band C block of spectrum shall be required to provide a platform that is more open to devices and applications. This would allow consumers to use the handset of their choice and download and use the applications of their choice in this spectrum block, subject to certain reasonable network management conditions that allow the licensee to protect the network from harm.
Now this may not be the most perfect of options vis a vis an open source mindset to the C block. But it does several things:
Of additional interest is this little piece:
“For licenses based on REAG’s licenses must provide service sufficient to cover at least 40% of the population within four years, and 75 percent of the population with the license area by the end of the license term.”
Now let me ask you, gentle reader, have you ever known a Telco to be able to meet that kind of build out schedule? Well neither have I. Who benefits? Well possibly Google. How? Google is a service business. They will want to induce additional services using the bandwidth. Their mindset will be less interest at layers 1,2,3 of the OSI model. There up there at layer 9 and above. I could easily see Google come out with a spec for use of the bandwidth, partner with the OEM product developers for the hardware and work a cobroker arrangement like FON is attempting with WIFI in this band. Customers buy the equipment relieving Google of the capital cost and deployment headaches. The customer recoups their investment through customer attraction and revenue sharing. Its viral, a model Google is very familiar with.
Anything lacking? I can only think of one – interoperability is not mentioned in the preliminary notice. It would be a shame to come this far and not at least have that kind of ability on the nationwide bands. Hopefully that will be covered in the auction detail to follow.
The soon to be auctioned 700 mHz band offers the promise to deliver the elusive Third Pipe to the internet. New competition for the firmly entrenched duopoly of Telcos and Cable TV operators is what is needed to make the internet and voice communications in the US truly competitive.
It seems there’s something for everyone except the little guy in the FCC rules for the 700 mHz action that have just been announced. The are calling for “limited” open access for a “portion” of the spectrum – this phrase is an oxymoron! Access is either open or not.
Fortunately, the spectrum will not be auctioned until January 2008, so there is time to to raise hell with Congress.
The city of Rosario, Argentina, the counties second largest, has implemented a free WIFI network system. In the early stages of deployment, the operation uses Linux open source software as a component of the system.
Why is open source critical to this discussion? In Rosario’s case it appears to be a matter of politics. Lacking the funds to populate a commercial solution and not wishing to trigger inquires for funding requests the IT team used an Open Source OS to overcome the issue. Which begs the question, how many other Muni WIFI solutions are ‘rolling their own’ out there?
Read it here.