We called it months ago, but finally, the US Federal Communications Commission has seen what everyone else could see back then: providing free national broadband for all would be too costly. So the project has been dropped like a ton of bricks.
I'm speculating there about the reason why the FCC has abandoned the idea. Why else would they ditch what was an astonishing idea, something that would make Barack Obama (himself a tech-savvy man) beam with pride? Internet providers must have been shitting themselves at the thought of free broadband provided by each and every citizen. Even if that broadband was only 786Kbps in speed - hardly considered broadband to you and I.
It was going to earn back the investment through advertisements, and while it would've taken 10 years to kickstart, M2Z Networks (the ISP involved in creating the infrastructure to carry it out) was told by the FCC that it "was not the best policy outcome". Say what?
Ruth Milkman, the FCC's Chief of Wireless Bureau, told Ars Technica that "We remain vigilant in our efforts to facilitate the universal deployment and adoption of broadband, especially through the much-needed reform to the Universal Service Fund."
While this little area of the broader National Broadband Plan has ceased to exist, it's still possible the FCC will come up trumps with another brilliant idea. Hopefully, one which won't suggest filters for adult content and unsuitable material, like the FCC first proposed. [Ars Technica]