As readers know I am moving to Maine in a few days. The area I am moving to is very rural and on the coast. It’s really beautiful there, but the area is some what remote and in preparing for my move, I have found there are no cell phone towers there and other utilities like basic phone service, cable and internet are more expensive there than in other less rural areas in Maine.
In response to today’s news that the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology is poised to issue a report on the use of unlicensed “white spaces” to provide high-speed Internet access, Sen. John Kerry urged the FCC to act quickly to establish rules. Kerry has long championed opening the white spaces to expand access to high speed internet nationwide.
“By acting now, the FCC can take a big step toward helping families and small businesses in rural areas get accessible and affordable high speed Internet,” said Sen. Kerry. “The bottom line is that we have a potentially game changing technology in our sights-one that will put our public airwaves to use serving the public interest. We should leave the development of that technology in the capable hands of this country’s greatest innovators.”
“I urge the Commissioners to move forward with the unlicensed use of this spectrum, and to support rules that take steps to prevent interference while making the best possible use of this unused spectrum,” Kerry added.
In 2007, Kerry introduced the Wireless Innovation Act, which would require the FCC to write rules governing the unlicensed use of the white spaces for the purposes of providing greater access to high speed internet.
I’ve been following Kerry’s advocacy of this issue for some time now, but now that I am moving to rural Maine, I see just how important it is. As the owner of an internet based business and a blog, I depend on the internet to make my living.
Although my move to Maine will save me considerably on other expenses, the knowledge that I will now be paying double per month for internet access while folks in the larger city 2 hours south pay half of that doesn’t set well with me. It’s honestly rather astounding that here we are in 2008 and there are places in America that still don’t have decent access to high speed internet.