USA Today


The Federal Communications Commission, as expected, approved a measure that would make “white space” spectrum available for wireless broadband. White space is industry lingo for the unused airwaves that abut broadcast TV spectrum, providing a buffer zone from stray signals and other inferference. The buffer zone was set up more than 50 years ago when TV was first invented. The FCC’s white-space plan was initially proposed four years ago. More than 25,000 comments — from supporters as well as critics — were submitted.
We pay for other utilities (electricity, water, phone services) by the amount utilised, but usually a flat rate for broadband depending upon the bandwidth. I have earlier compared this to paying for water based on the diameter of the pipe, instead of liters consumed. The following letter by a reader to USA Today highlights similar concerns – may be in another context. WHY SHOULD BROADBAND BE FREE? James Lakely – Chicago Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin’s reference to the phone industry exposes the weakness of his argument to provide free broadband access in the USA.
Most Americans are still hesitant about banking with their cellphones and PDAs, but young people are increasingly accepting mobile banking, according to a survey. Serving the needs of tech-savvy customers will be crucial for banks to stay competitive as the collective income of baby boomers’ children is expected to surge over the next 10 years and exceed that of their parents. So far, though most major banks offer mobile banking, 89% of consumers don’t use their cellphones to conduct banking transactions, according to the study by IBM’s retail banking consulting practice. The study found that 21% of consumers ages 18-34 use their cellphones for banking transactions, compared with about 10% of the general population. These numbers, particularly for younger consumers, are expected to grow significantly.