This points out the truth that neither Wi-Fi nor the Internet is free. consumers as customers and or tax payers pay for it to be there and thrive. The fight to keep the Internet open access "net nuetrality" does not assume that it should be free either just open to all to select through the consumer's click what site each supports. It just fights to keep it open access to users who pay for it to be just that open for each person to access. Neither non-profit and for-profit models are free. We should look very broadly at this issue. Most those making the arguments this article makes turn out to be written by pro-industry, for-profit models in their opinion and are very anti-public, anti-non-profit ownership.
Both models have a place but for-profits models of ownership, by the very fact they are a "for- profit" models often result in nearly monopoly type ownership as they seek and too often are allowed to buy out competition. The FCC’s caution in not allowing more than 30% of our spectrums to go up for the usual power grab at auction to the highest bidder to be owned by those who mainly have money to buy everything for themselves and their personal profit and interest is wise. Public held spectrums like local municipal Wi-Fi or even running their own infrastructure should certainly be allowed if those citizens so choose. There should be nothing to prevent them from connecting town to town either if they so as citizens decide to expand and join together in their own interest as well. The goal in saving offering much of the white space and lower spectrums to local area non-profit groups is a great goal to encourage more nation wide expressions from citizens across the nation. These opportunities just need to be published more before these types of article convince folks to give up to the for-profit interest before they even new what they had. Sort of like the guy who offers to buy the land you own for a great price because he knows it has billions of barrels of oil and you didn't.
The "auctioned" licenses are issued to those who want to come through the local airwaves and be ALLOWED into those areas to provide service for profit. The people in each community should be allowed to choose to go non-profit or have alternatives if they choose and feel they can have local public ownership offerings that serve them as well or better. These would be "owned" as well, just jointly owned by those that are being served. This is also a free market model. Whoever dreamed up the idea that public ownership is not free market forgets that corporations are also joint ownership... most are just the for-profit model. Since when did growing your own garden or owning your own communication system, school and church with your neighbors become socialism and anti-free market? Some areas are best non-profit because they are important to a community and mankind for other values we treasure that may not bring us money riches and are the very reason we go to work.... like paying for homes, have time to enjoy our home, family, friends, nature, dancing, singing and just being alive, spending time and money to learn things we must and also things that enrich our lives, to provide children activities, raising them and spending time and money to be part of that, to care for the elderly and make their life as rich as possible. These are all situations we all share if we live a full life. Don't ever forget "We work to live" even when the push for a few for-profits to own everything is failing to tell us honestly "They want us to live only to work for them and then die fast if we aren't their mamma!"
Why should local communities be forced to offer a few major for-profits something they can or choose to do for themselves? That is like a farmer who owns land having to go to auction to buy the right to use his own land. Why should communities be forced to open local air for free or to buy at auction what is already their local spectrums of airwaves? Google is for profit and not a local co-op style format so I don’t know why they would not have to go to action if they plan on becoming a service provider or directly own spectrums. If service providers want to charge the more to Google because they use more than they already do or for customers to access these services Google and those others mentioned here it does make sense for Google to compete at auction if they plan to end that abuse by ISPs by running their own infrastructure and directly compete as a service provider alternative to the few that survive now. Content providers do pay more for access to more and costumers are already paying to access what they choose. NO one should have to run other infrastructure to dodge ISP, for-profits if they serve us as content providers and costumers are already paying them to do and they do it affordably and WELL.
The more expensive for profit model is used because it offers something you can't make on your own, don't care to do or they do better. Like when you don't care or cannot plant your own garden and then you hire someone else to do it. The whole idea of the public model is to co-op ownership by those served or often underserved because the for-profits see these communities as not profitable so they fail to serve many people well. I personally bought cell service to have service in a place where I work and reaching a phone is difficult. The fact is I have good service only when I'm not at work because it has not been seen as a profitable area to provide good service to yet.... They charge as though I have full service and then it's my problem if they don't really have that. "I'm" not in the "right" location. Frankly I would love to try to do connections mostly non-profit because the only time I do get great service is along a main road or in a fairly good size city. I have AT&T, not some small startup and that is what they deliver and many others do no better by much. My point about the big fish eating the other fish is that I never signed up for AT&T, my original cell company that worked fine was eaten at least three times by others and now AT&T. There are already very few for-profit options in the big communication service provider sea now because the big fish already allowed in the 30% of the spectrum sea already ate up the smaller ones just because they had their price or where starved out. This did not improve service much because why should they worry if the competition is gone. They idea that they might have competition instead of ownership emerge for that other 70% of the spectrum scares these companies into action to win us over to let them have most of it. Stand firm FCC!