The quest to see a national free Wi-Fi network continues, this week winning the ringing endorsements (PDF) of House Representatives Anna Eshoo and Edward Markey.
National Wi-Fi, or the concept of a nationwide wireless internet service available for free, seeks to spread wireless broadband access to all the places not covered by traditional broadband internet service. Both plans – there are two, one from Silicon Valley-based M2Z Networks and the other from the FCC – emphasize providing high-speed internet to rural and underprivileged communities, which are usually out of reach for traditional, landline high-speed internet service.
M2Z Networks made an initial proposal for 384kbps service in July 2006, but found its ideas scrapped last fall after the FCC criticized its speed and questioned the company’s benchmarks. Rather than take the FCC to court, M2Z lobbied Rep. Eshoo to draw up the Wireless Internet Nationwide for Families Act, which instead would force the FCC to auction off available space in the 2155-2175 MHz band to create a nationwide Wi-Fi network.
Around the same time it rejected M2Z’s initial proposal, the FCC drew up nearly identical plans (PDF) to sell the same chunk of spectrum to the highest bidder.
Both current initiatives face stiff resistance from incumbent wireless telcos such as AT&T and Verizon, who recently raised concerns over potential signal interference.
Recent tests conducted in the UK suggest that there won’t be any problems, write Eshoo and Markey, who say that “unnecessary interference testing would needlessly delay this auction.”
Such doubts “[constitute] the very rationale to kill this effort totally,” reads the letter. “The British Office of Communications … concluded that [service] can operate … without causing substantial interference.”
Opponents’ objections point specifically to the way the spectrum would be duplexed, claiming that techniques such as unpaired Time Division Duplexing or paired Frequency Division Duplexing would be unable to operate due to signal interference.
Notably, both proposals stipulate that any free wireless offerings have mandatory content filters, preventing users from viewing any material that “would be harmful to teens and adolescents,” including pornography and anything “contemporary community standards” deem as obscene. Free-speech advocates call this condition unconstitutional.
M2Z Networks is backed by Silicon Valley heavyweights Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers, Charles River Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures.
quote: It's great for those sucking off the system. It sucks for anyone who truly wishes to excel.
quote: How much drug research happens in socialist countries? Almost none. Why? Because what's the point of spending billions developing a drug when the government will then tell you what you can sell it for and force you to let others produce it as well? Companies are in business to make money. Not to help you. If helping you is profitable, then businesses will do it.
quote: A Commonwealth Fund survey of primary care physicians and patients in five other nations—Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom—finds that the U.S. health care system ranks last or next-to-last on five dimensions of a high performance health system: quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives. Much of this underperformance is attributable to the lack of universal health insurance in the U.S. Our failure to cover all Americans also underscores the findings of the 2007 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey, which found financial barriers are much more likely to prevent many U.S. adults from getting the care they need than adults in the six other participating countries. While no one country provided a perfect model of care, there are many lessons to be learned from the strategies at work abroad.
quote: The truth is that government spending is a drag on the economy and productivity gains have occurred despite government involvement, not because of it.
quote: If socialism worked so wonderfully, Eastern Europe may have embraced it's former political structure a bit stronger rather than having a string of revolutions toward more capitalistic non-government run systems.
quote: Eh? You've made the same mistake you've accused others of. While both systems have political overtones, they are most certainly economic systems.
quote: The main criticism of modern Austrian economics is its lack of scientific precision. Austrian theories are not formulated in formal mathematical form, but using verbal logic. Mainstream economists believe that this makes Austrian theories too imprecisely defined to be clearly used to explain or predict real world events. Economist Bryan Caplan noted that, "what prevents Austrian economists from getting more publications in mainstream journals is that their papers rarely use mathematics or econometrics." This criticism of the Austrian school is related to its rejection of the use of the scientific method and empirical testing in social sciences in favor of self-evident axioms and logical reasoning . The Nobel prize winning economist Paul Samuelson wrote that, "I tremble for the reputation of my subject" after reading the "exaggerated claims that used to be made in economics for the power of deduction and a priori reasoning [the Austrian methods]."
quote: In fact, this imperfect human knowledge is the basis of why they argue the market is necessary. Much like the scientific method, market mechanisms provide a means to cope with human fallibility.
quote: and their theories have been repeatedly validated by reality.
quote: Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman, after examining the history of business cycles in the US, concluded that "The Hayek-Mises explanation of the business cycle is contradicted by the evidence. It is, I believe, false."
quote: This criticism of the Austrian school is related to its rejection of the use of the scientific method and empirical testing in social sciences in favor of self-evident axioms and logical reasoning .
quote: He argued that central banks should not target specific interest rates because they are unable to predict changes in the economic environment until it is too late
quote: Accordingly, many Austrian economists support the abolition of the central banks and the fractional-reserve banking system, and advocate instead a return to sound money such as a 100 percent gold standard, or, less frequently, free banking.
quote: Those people who are "Sucking" off the system, will eventually get jobs and pay there taxes
quote: England, France, and Switzerland have universal free health care.
quote: CEO’s and corporate leaders that take huge portions of the profit for themselves and do very little to help the production of the product that earns that money
quote: The US probably would not be in such issues as it is now if the Government stepped into and set some rules and regulations on bank lending.
quote: Were stricter regulations instituted regarding the lending of money to people who could not afford to borrow it, there would not be such a high default rate, thus there would not be the collapse of the inflated value of sup-prime backed securities.
quote: The Act requires the appropriate federal financial supervisory agencies to encourage regulated financial institutions to meet the credit needs of the local communities in which they are chartered, consistent with safe and sound operation.
quote: To enforce the statute, federal regulatory agencies examine banking institutions for CRA compliance, and take this information into consideration when approving applications for new bank branches or for mergers or acquisitions.
quote: ...and proceeded to enact legislation to support those institutions if those loans went bad.
quote: Because the lending institutions already had fairly strict regulations as to who they would lend money to.
quote: You seem to think that these lenders just went out and grabbed up as much debt as they could and this wouldn't have occurred if only the government had reined them in.
quote: If it WERE the case, this crisis would have come to a head decades ago, not just recently after the Community Reinvestment Act was enacted.
quote: More than half of subprime loans were made by independent mortgage companies not subject to comprehensive federal supervision; another 30 percent of such originations were made by affiliates of banks or thrifts, which are not subject to routine examination or supervision, and the remaining 20 percent were made by banks and thrifts. - www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/financialsvcs_dem/b arr021308.pdf
quote: The CRA was passed in 1977.
quote: There is no way that banks are "forced" financialy or criminally to make loans. The Janet Reno case refered to by a previous post probably cites racial issues, not financial issues.
quote: They had financial requirments (i.e. ability to repay the loan), but not regulations.
quote: quote: You seem to think that these lenders just went out and grabbed up as much debt as they could and this wouldn't have occurred if only the government had reined them in. To a degree that is what happened, and yes, were they not allowed to make such risky loans, this would not have been nearly as severe.
quote: If you want to spit the right-wing-rhetoric, you might want to atleast get your "talking points" straight. The CRA is blamed due to implementations to it in the early ninties. The CRA also is not, ala right-wing-press, held responsible for removing any regulation, but rather "encouraging" poor lending practices.
quote: [The] Gramm-Leach-Bliley [Act, amending the CRA] takes a middle ground in that context by not expanding CRA provisions to other segments of the industry but requiring that insured depositories [FHCs] meet a minimum CRA standard before they may participate in the newly permitted affiliations....Elections by bank holding companies to become FHC’s and expansion by FHC’s to new activities, will not be approved by the Federal Reserve unless all subsidiary insured depository institutions of the holding company received satisfactory or better CRA ratings at their last CRA exam....Others in Congress and the industry see the CRA changes as desirable and will push for additional changes in future years.http://library.findlaw.com/1999/Nov/15/126633.html
quote: More than half of subprime loans were made by independent mortgage companies not subject to comprehensive federal supervision - http://www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/financialsv...
quote: The CRA mandates that all banking institutions that receive FDIC insurance be evaluated by the relevant banking regulatory agencies to determine if the institution has met the credit needs of its entire community in a manner consistent with safe and sound operations.
quote: All hostilities aside for a moment, what is wrong with liking to cite? Perhaps it creates a false illusion of pathos, but I would rather try to cite too few things than cite nothing at all.
quote: To an extent, I conceed my main opposition to the source behind all this being the CRA. The claim that it is "forcing" lenders to make financially unsound decisions is still absurd. The CRA leaned on institutions to make these unsound decisions, but they, and as far as my limited research has lead me, they - these lending instutitons - by and large seemed to have made those decisions on their own.
quote: The CRA served, without a doubt in my mind now as an engine behind this calamity, but by no means stands as the sole, or even in my humble opinion the largest contribitor to said financial durres. As far as this economic crises stands as a point to learn from and continue forward with a better coarse, I feel that it by no means indicates a failure of the CRA. With that said, perhaps the lesson learned is that such risky lending practices need curbed, and the government needs a way to subsidize such loans that is less impactful to the market(i.e. not allowing the bundleing of high-risk, subprime loans with enough standard loans to meet FM/FM's requirements to purchase the security).
quote: I suppose if our government takes it upon itself to give these people loans they may not pay back, it is their burden, and should be stated outright, to hold the risk of default.
quote: The extent to which banks "lived in fear" of the CRA and the extent to which the government actually leaned on them to make such loans is unknown to me, thus I will reserve comment. However, perhaps the regulator agencies stood too heavily on these institutions before, but the term "in a manner consistent with safe and sound operations," will take on a whole new meaning.
quote: So to sumarize. I appologize for my half-undfounded defense of the CRA, and the mistakes I made following. I still contest that the CRA does not stand as the source of this completely, and thus is not warranted an outright death sentence (I infact am opposed to such legislation, and take offense to the term "left-wing rhetoric," in so much as I can put my head up my rear end for refering to what you said as "right-wing-rhetoric"). May I close by saying that I belive the angry opposition to the CRA has become a scape goat for a comedy of errors, and my intitial (I'm making an excuse here) combatancy to you was that to me it appeared as such a scape-goating.
quote: Blame both parties and government in general.
quote: Which ranges to banks, to water to electricity company practices, perhaps if more Governments placed more direct control upon banks and there lending habits we may not be in such a sick pickle right now, Mind you the Australian Banks are doing incredibly well, not bad for a bunch of Socialists.
quote: I will, however, point you to France's abysmal unemployment, growing violence among immigrants, and growing racism against those immigrants. That is the beginning of the endpoint of a socialist society.
quote: However, people like you don't think so because you're all too content having more than others and hoarding endlessly though it little satiates your need for happiness and satisfaction with life
quote: Our country is falling deeper into the hopeless maw of Socialism. We are being continually taxed to fund the programs for parasites who expect everything, from food, to housing, and now the internet, for free. It is getting to the point where those who contribute the least end up getting the most while the poor productive suckers are footing the bill.
quote: It's more like "competition to destroy the market".
quote: A government-mandated and run network is about as far as possible from "competition which would stimulate the market".
quote: I live in a populated area but work in a rural area of NH. People out here pay ungodly rates for low level poorly maintained dsl and its that or the highway (like satellite has ever been a viable option).
quote: Most of those private companies are prevented by local laws from going into the areas covered by their competitors.
quote: Even the article mentions censorship of "ANY" material "DEEMED" inappropriate for kids and adolescents!