updated 01:15 pm EDT, Fri June 6, 2008
FCC delays free broadband
The Federal Communications Commission is delaying a vote regarding the creation of free broadband services around the US, Reuters reports. FCC chairman Kevin Martin has proposed auctioning off a portion of the 25MHz wireless spectrum, on the condition that winners not only agree to offer a free broadband option, but filter out "obscene" content in the form of pornography. A vote on approving the auction was originally scheduled for June 12th, but no longer has a firm date.
Martin says that although he is "anxious" for the free broadband concept to be accepted, more time is needed for all the commissioners to properly scrutinize the proposal. Concerns are said to have been raised by wireless carriers, who argue that handing over the 25MHz spectrum may interfere with other frequencies acquired in 2006. Martin insists that safeguards used in previous auctions should ensure no problems with the new one.
The vote must now happen before an August deadline, but could take place as soon as July.