Chairman Martin still wants free wireless broadband

FCC Chairman Martin is still committed to his plan for free wireless broadband access. Martin removed from tomorrow's FCC meeting agenda his proposed auction of 25 megahertz of unused wireless spectrum that would require the winning bidder to offer free broadband service, but now he says he wants to pursue this plan in July. Speaking at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Telecommunications Subcommittee yesterday, Martin said that "traditional industry players" have opposed his idea because they want to reserve this spectrum for mobile video services.

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) asked Martin to postpone the plan, saying that placing conditions on airwave auctions hasn't been successful in the past. However, Martin says he wants to move ahead with the idea in July if he can get support from the majority of the commission.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

Related stories:
FCC delays decision on free wireless broadband network
FCC mulls another spectrum auction. Read this spectrum auction story
Will a spectrum auction requiring free broadband services work? Read this spectrum auction editorial