Free Internet is part of new FCC airwaves auction

WASHINGTON Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:21pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Communications Commission on Friday said it wants to auction a section of wireless airwaves to buyers willing to provide free broadband Internet service without pornography.

The agency asked for public comment on its plan to auction an unused portion of the wireless spectrum with the condition that the winning bidder offer free Internet access and filter out obscene content on part of those airwaves.

Successful bidders for the spectrum would also be required to provide coverage to at least half of the United States within four years, and to at least 95 percent of the U.S. population by the end of the 10-year license, the FCC said.

"Additional obligations associated with the licensee's free broadband service would include a requirement to provide a network-based filtering mechanism for the free Internet service in order to protect children and families, and a requirement that the network allow for the use of open devices," the agency said.

The FCC posted its proposal on its website here .

(Reporting by Julie Vorman)

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