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Free US wireless network a step closer

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Oct 13, 2008
A free nationwide wireless Internet network has moved one step closer to becoming a reality in the United States following a key finding by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Major US telecommunications companies have opposed opening up unused portions of the US airwaves to wireless Web use, but a new report by FCC engineers has essentially shot down one of their major arguments.

The proposed band is 2155-2175 MHz, or AWS-3, for Advanced Wireless Service.

US telecoms giant T-Mobile submitted test results claiming that using AWS-3 for wireless Internet use would interfere with mobile devices operating in the adjacent 2110-2155 MHz band known as AWS-1.

But in a report late Friday, the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology said tests conducted in September at a facility in Washington state found there was no "significant risk of harmful interference."

A Silicon Valley start-up, M2Z Networks Inc. applied to the FCC, the US regulatory body, in May 2006 to lease the AWS-3 spectrum to build a free nationwide wireless broadband network.

M2Z pledged to ensure broadband coverage for 95 percent of the population within 10 years.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin has said repeatedly he favors extending free access to the Internet and has proposed auctioning off the portion of the spectrum that would be dedicated to free wireless use.

"There's a social obligation in making sure everybody can participate in the next generation of broadband services," Martin told the newspaper USA Today in an interview in August.

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Google adds computer games to online advertising kingdom
San Francisco (AFP) Oct 8, 2008
Google said Wednesday that it is expanding its advertising kingdom to include the booming online computer game market.

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