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View Diary: FCC Proposes Groundbreaking Free Public Wi-Fi Throughout United States; Mobile Companies Protest (440 comments)

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  •  Free with paid options (2+ / 0-)
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    AoT, Norm in Chicago

    One option is to offer a very basic and rate limited free option and then a second paid option that either removes the rate limit or raises it significantly.

    But really what is and isn't possible depends heavily on what spectrum they unlicense. The article uses adjectives to describe it that aren't particularly helpful in deciphering exactly where the range is. The lower you go in frequency, the better at penetrating objects those waves are. They say it can penetrate thick concrete walls which means it's probably under the 1.5 ghz range. I'd wager under 1 ghz.

    There's a tradeoff though -- the lower you go, the less data over a given frequency slice you can carry. You can still make those frequencies carry high data, but you need to increase the width of your transmission channel. Thus, the slice of spectrum being freed up needs to be wide if there are going to be a sufficient number of non-overlapping channels that can be allocated to increase the "customer" density per tower.

    If the width of the spectrum isn't particularly large, then mobile companies won't have much to fear -- there won't be enough capacity to serve densely populated areas which are their bread and butter.

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