Saturday, November 30, 2019
The Diary of a Young Girl free essay sample
Early yesterday morning, I saw that Cecilia Kang at the Washington Post had a story up about the years-long fight for white spaces entitled: Tech, telecom giants take sides as FCC proposes large public WiFi networks. It struck me as odd, because so much in the article seemed wrong or misleading. The main part about efforts to finally do something with the old TV spectrum isnt anything new at all. We first wrote about the FCC proposing this back in 2004 and have covered it a few times since. The FCC has been trying to use some of that TV spectrum for better, more efficient and more useful endeavors. Its been an ongoing battle that feels like its never going to end. The short version is that TV broadcasters got a ton of free spectrum many years ago (just look at how giant chunks of the spectrum chart belong to TV broadcasters). We will write a custom essay sample on The Diary of a Young Girl or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page A big part of the move to digital TV was to force broadcasters to give up a chunk of wasted, valuable spectrum that can be turned into (among other things) some useful wireless services. TV broadcasters hate this and have been fighting it in a variety of ways. The latest version of this plan is for the FCC to do a multi-part, multi-directional auction process for a chunk of spectrum currently held by the broadcasters. Part of that auction would be to offer incentives to broadcasters to cough up the spectrum. And then part of it would be auctioning off whatever spectrum broadcasters agree to dump. Finally, part of it would also include designating some portion of the spectrum for unlicensed uses. All of this is ancient history. Really ancient history. So why is the Washington Post suddenly covering this? From the article, youd be forgiven for thinking that this is all new and that the FCC has plans for some amazing free super WiFi. Except thats not true. At all. Well, except the part that caught most peoples attention: that this would be about offering free internet service across the country. That part is new. And thats because its not true. You still need backhaul and service. Its just about freeing up the spectrum so that it can be used to provide service. The FCC isnt suddenly planning to get into the broadband service ISP business. Nor could they. Think of it this way: just because WiFi exists, it does not mean that everyone suddenly has free internet access if they buy a WiFi router at their local Best Buy. Nope. They have to connect that to a service. Same thing with anything being talked about here. More spectrum may be freed up for open use meaning more things like WiFi but there will still be service providers offering services over it in some form or another. Could some of them offer free service? Possibly. Just like you might get free internet access from your neighbor with open WiFi, who pays for his connection. But thats not what anyones really talking about. However, if you could be forgiven for thinking that this was new and amazing (and true), I dont think the same forgiveness should be given to parts of the press who ate this story up. Business Insider (apparently, without any benefit from any actual insider) wrote a breathless piece about telcos trying to stop the government from offering super WiFi. Except no. Others, who should have known better yet still wrote about it, included Popular Science (awful) and Mashable. Moving to the mainstream, newswire UPI picked up the story, taking some comments from FCC boss, Julius Genachowski, out of context. He was quoted in the Post piece as saying Freeing up unlicensed spectrum is a vibrantly free-market approach that offers low barriers to entry to innovators developing the technologies of the future and benefits consumers. But the confusion is his use of free. Hes not talking free service but freeing the spectrum so that anyone can offer services, like WiFi, over it without having to buy a license. Others similarly jumped on the story without understanding it at all. The Daily Caller talked about it as if it was some new plan, as did Fox. Similarly, you had ThinkProgress and Salon chiming in on the other side of the political spectrum. Thankfully, some spoke up in response, but even then theres still some head-scratching about this wh ole thing. Karl Bode, over at DSLReports, quickly questioned Kang about the whole story, and she claimed that the story was motivated by the new comments to the FCC from various players both in support and in opposition of the latest spectrum auction concerning white spaces. But again, the auction has been planned for a while and its not really about white spaces but adding existing white space rules to some of the newly available spectrum (more below). Theres really nothing new here, other than some comment filings about how this auction should go down, which add little to the discussion beyond whats been said already. Its the same players saying the same thing, but just in direct reference to the upcoming spectrum auction. Jerry Brito, over at the Tech Liberation Front, digs into the details and suggests that this whole thing involves something of a comedy of errors, with massive confusion not just over whats been going on with TV white spaces, or the new comments, or the upcoming spectrum auction but also with a completely different band of spectrum that Genachowski spoke about last month at CES.