President Barack Obama wants nearly all Americans to have access to speedy wireless services. He’s promoting that plan in a small city in Michigan that’s becoming a model for how the Internet can bring prosperity to far-flung places, the Associated Press reports. Obama on Thursday heads to Marquette, Mich., a university and tourism town of 20,000 overlooking Lake Superior that cherishes both its geographical remoteness and technological savvy. There he’ll see high-tech wireless initiatives in action at Northern Michigan University, where students telecommute, and talk about the plan he unveiled in his State of the Union address to expand access to high-speed wireless to 98 percent of the population within five years……Read More
According to a government report released Aug. 26, consolidation over the past decade has left just four big carriers in control of 90 percent of the wireless market, making it harder for small and regional companies to compete, reports the Associated Press. The study by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, could help fuel the FCC’s recent efforts to increase oversight of the wireless industry. The FCC is currently considering rules that would require wireless phone companies to alert consumers before they reach roaming or data usage limits on their wireless plans. It has also been looking into common industry practices such as charging consumers early termination fees to break a service contract before it expires. The GAO study found that despite the industry consolidation, consumers are benefiting from better wireless coverage and prices that are half what they were in 1999. It also says that nearly 40 percent of U.S. households rely on a cell phone as a primary phone. Although the GAO reached no firm conclusion on the causes of limited competition in the wireless sector, it does list a number of factors regularly cited by smaller carriers and consumer groups. Those include early termination fees and handset exclusivity deals such as AT&T Inc.’s contract with Apple Inc. to serve as the sole U.S. carrier for the iPhone……Read More
Campus technology officials say there’s only one surefire way to stop students from creating their own wireless internet connections in dormitories and creating a security risk for computer users: provide reliable wireless access across campus.
Unauthorized, or “rogue,” wireless networks cropped up on college campuses of every size in the mid-2000s, IT chiefs say, as students became impatient with little or no wireless connection in their dorms.
Many campuses only had wireless connections in libraries, leaving students to plug into the internet when studying in dormitories.…Read More