Tagged : ‘fcc’
“Airwave (Radio Edit)”- Rank 1
The FCC auctions off the airwaves to wireless carriers in the name of the public good. The wireless carries ostensibly operate this public utility, and we all get cellphones — probably considered by many to be a basic necessity now — at an acceptable cost. The wireless carriers, incidentally, make billions in profits off of the air around us that our elected government licensed to them. This is all cool because it’s considered for the common good. I can accept that if I don’t look too closely.
What I don’t agree with is how the wireless carries can deliver such a low level of service where if there is a some sort of local crisis, say an earthquake, all circuits will be busy for hours after the event. Presumably if there was danger for an extended period of time, the circuits would continue to be unusable for a vast majority of the people trying to use them to reached loved ones.
I believe everyone who carries a cellphone is comforted by its presence, should there be an emergency. But, the wireless carriers who are making billions from your airwaves have no intention of serving you in the case of a very large emergency. They’ve built an infrastructure as cheaply as possible based on normal usage and have not planned — seemingly at all — for any usage beyond that. When an moderate earthquake that lasts thirty seconds with no loss of life can effectively tie up service for an hour or longer, as I saw this week, I get pissed off.
If we’re willing to hand over control over the airwaves, and the billions of dollars that go with that, I’d expect more. But, that’s not what we get.
We see this already with the feet-dragging over wireless 911 service. If there were any sort of mandated level-of-service guidelines, the wireless carriers would cry about the cost to them and pass on higher rates to customers — for what is essentially a necessary service today. And, they would continue to make billions.
Did I mention they’re our airwaves in the first place?