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FCC to recommend free wireless network

The Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday it will recommend a free or low-priced wireless network to encourage people to get broadband Internet services who otherwise can't afford it.

The recommendation will be part of the agency’s national broadband plan to be presented to Congress next Wednesday and is considered a way of addressing the hurdles of cost that have kept nearly three out of 10 people from getting high-speed Internet access.

A recent study commissioned by the agency showed broadband adoption rates were lower among lower-income groups and among minority groups. Experts say those groups, however, are using smartphones to access the Internet more quickly than other groups.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the recommendation in a “Digital Inclusion Summit” in Washington with the Knight Foundation. The agency said it would also fund a digital literacy project to help people get trained on computers and Internet access.

A spokesperson at the agency declined to comment further on the recommendations and how they would be funded.

By Cecilia Kang  |  March 9, 2010; 5:23 PM ET
Categories:  FCC  
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