Free Broadband in France?

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Utilizing a blend of Wi-Fi, HSPA+ 3G, femtocells and its all-fiber backbone, Free Mobile in France will offer unlimited voice, texting and data over the mobile networks — for free, says GigOm. Bring your own iPhone.

Xavier Niel is the founder of Iliad, the company behind broadband service, explains Om Malik.

French Internet service provider Iliad signed a deal with France Telecom to co-finance the roll out of a fiber-optic network to five million French homes in rural areas. uses the set-top box for automatically sharing a portion of one’s broadband connection via Wi-Fi with other customers. Over five million set-top boxes means has a free Wi-Fi cloud enveloping major cities such as Paris, explains Om Malik.

In other news, the Wireless Innovation Alliance came out with this statement today regarding Whites Spaces:

The Wireless Innovation Alliance applauds Senators Kerry, Snowe, Warner, and Moran, who, in a letter to Senate leadership, called on their colleagues to grant the Federal Communications Commission the flexibility it needs to effectively allocate spectrum in an effort to encourage efficiency, innovation, competition, and economic growth.

We appreciate their support of responsible spectrum management legislation, as well as their leadership and continued dedication to the preservation of unlicensed spectrum at this critical time for the American economy. Curtailing unlicensed uses of spectrum will result in the loss of a crucial platform for “innovation without permission” as well as billions of dollars to the U.S. economy.

While deficit reduction is an important goal of any impending spectrum legislation, it must not be met by strangling the potential of Super WiFi. As the letter states, “We must not neglect the fertile ground for innovation that unlicensed spectrum offers and the subsequent economic value it produces.”

A bill introduced last year by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) would permit incentive auctions of television spectrum. The United States could loses its leadership role in broadband deployment, the country could lose its place as the most attractive market in the world for apps and services, warned FCC Chairman Genachowski. “There’s no slowing down on broadband,” he said. “Incentive auctions get [universal broadband] done now.”

The Wireless Innovation Alliance, which hopes to preserve “unlicensed” white spaces in the unused television frequencies, is concerned about spectrum legislation that will stop new entrants into the wireless market through “incentive auctions” of broadcast spectrum that would allow only “licensed” users paying big bucks for spectrum.

According to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (pdf), “Unleashing white spaces spectrum has the potential to exceed even the many billions of dollars in economic benefit from Wi-Fi, the last significant release of unlicensed spectrum, and drive private investment and job creation.”

Some Republicans apparently prefer the Universal Service Fee, a huge $5 billion/year government subsidy program, funded by taxpayers, to bailout rural telephone companies. Unlicensed “white spaces”, say advocates, would stimulate the economy, bridge the “digital divide”, and encourage innovation.

Microsoft’s WiFi-NC which puts Wi-Fi-like service over narrow channels in the unused television spectrum, could operate at fast speeds by bundling multiple narrow signals together.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Microsoft Announced Narrow Channel Whitespace, FCC Authorizes White Space Service in Wilmington, White Space Legislation Goes Dark, White Space War, Bills to Kill Unlicensed White Space?, White Space Trial Completed, White Space Trialed, Huawei to Trial White Space TD-LTE, NTIA “Finds” 1.5 GHz of Federal Spectrum, UK Delays 4G Auction Ofcom: White Spaces by 2013, UK Gets Free Public WiFi, Europe’s Digital Divide Auction,

Posted by Sam Churchill on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 at 1:04 pm .

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