Imagine...a world with no data plan


Alas, it was too good to be true: The Washington Post report that the federal government wants to free up spectrum for creation of super Wi-Fi networks across the nation, "so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month."

The almost universal acclaim among users--carriers were less ecstatic--that greeted this proposition is evidence of huge pent-up demand, frustration with the carriers and evidence that the Federal Communications Commission really should do such a thing.

Just imagine the possibilities. Wi-Fi everywhere--so ubiquitous that it would "penetrate thick concrete walls and travel over hills and around trees." No more AT&T. Bye-bye, Verizon. So long T-Mobile, maybe you could have spent the money you've been using to show commercials of helicopter fly-bys of major U.S. cities on improving the network?

Mobile connectivity clearly is becoming something that should be managed for the greater public good. Mobile Internet drives productivity. It creates wealth. It's increasingly a basic requirement for all aspects of life, personal and business. Although telecoms have plenty of government regulation to already contend with and spectrum license management is complex, the notion of being unshackled from carriers through free and powerful Wi-Fi for all is so compelling that whether by design or by accident, the FCC should follow this vision. Do it, FCC! - Dave