1 Tech Initiative That Could Change Everything

The following video is from Monday's MarketFoolery podcast in which host Chris Hill and analysts Tim Hanson, Andy Cross and Joe Magyer discuss the top business and investing stories.

In this segment, the FCC is proposing to create a free Wi-Fi Network across the country. What would the deal mean for consumers? What would the deal mean for Internet purveyors like Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) and AT&T (NYSE: T  ) ? What would the initiative mean for established tech companies like Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) , Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM  ) , and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) ? Our analysts tackle those questions and discuss the future of wireless.

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The relevant video segment can be found between 0:41 and 9:01.


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  • Report this Comment On February 05, 2013, at 1:52 PM, starz188 wrote:

    I feel like the the Verizon and AT&T (et al) people will be waving their copies of Atlas Shrugged and screaming about the theft of their product/service for the "greater good".

    And, I think they're right. In concept, this is no different than the nationalization of any major industry - be it railroads, air travel, etc.

    Companies like Verizon have invested billions of dollars into infrastructure and bandwidth, usually buying those wavelengths from the government.

    In the video segment here, they talk about the jobs created by free enterprise and free access to fast web. What about the tens of thousands of jobs lost at companies like VZ and T?

    At heart, I believe in a pure capitalist society. I tend to side with a business' right to make a dollar.

    I also believe in the idea of a free, unrestrained internet. But does an FCC-driven "free" internet lead to more shackles and control of content in the future?

    This should take years and years to work its way through the red tape (if ever). But it's going to be an interesting battle to watch.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2013, at 11:37 PM, JanRodricks wrote:

    While the US invented the Internet, it has some of the most mediocre broadband access rates and speeds in the world. The US ranks 15th in broadband access per household (re: OECD.) Our internet access more closely resembles Estonia than Germany or France. Avereage Korean broadband speeds are 200x that of the average American connection for only ~$27/mo. (as of Dec 2012). 94% of Koreans have broadband, most of it blinding fast direct fiber, compared to 70% of Americans most of whom have much slower cable. My broadband access is probably typical for an American, in that I pay $50/mo.for a sluggish 20MB/256KB cable that can't even stream Youtube HD without interruption. My web browsing speeds plunged over the last 10 years even as my broadband connection speeds have increased.

    If the government can intervene to increase competition, to provide access to those less well off, even fund basic infrastructure, that's a good thing in my view. Hyper-fast direct fiber could be installed and operated inexpensively, but Time Warner and AT&T prefer to continue to profit from their old, long ago amortized cable and DSL systems. Together they form an anti-competitive duopoly that keeps prices high and technology antiquated. I'm happy to have the federal government toss change into that stale mix.

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