US carriers block FCC proposal for free WiFi

After a couple of years that have seen the US cellcos - and some landline telcos - offering free or low-cost WiFi services as a sweetener to keep punters happy, it seems the carriers are baulking at the idea of offering free services to everyone.

It seems that the FCC - the US equivalent of Ofcom, the telecoms regulator here in here the UK - has come up with a plan for all the carriers to work together to offer free national WiFi to punters.

As you might expect, the prospect of losing money on their WiFi services hasn't gone down too well with carriers like AT&T, T-MObile US and Verizon.

In fact, they were so unimpressed, they have all banded together to lobby the US Congress against the plan, which will see the FCC release some new WiFI spectrum blocks and place them up for auction, with the provision that the winning company will offer free WiFi across 50 per cent of the US within four years and 95 per cent with the next decade.

The bizarre idea is for the licensee to offer a paid-for service alongside a free advertising-driven WiFi service.

Just to make interesting, T-Mobile says that the proposed frequencies would interfere with its planned 3G cellular service which it has already paid a licence fee for.

Check out more on this amazing, and highly unprofitable proposal from the FCC here...