and noted that the free-access issue would delay AWS auctions into 2009. The USA Today article notes that the free-access issue may or may not be hampering T-Mobile in a potentially profitable service offering. I plan to research the issue a bit more because I'm not quite sure who is right or if there are clear answers.
Still I keep thinking that Martin, despite noble intentions, is headed down the wrong path. The USA Today article mentions rural citizens that can't get broadband today. Without question that's a problem. But I don't see a cellular-like broadband service as the answer. If the answer is wireless in nature, then the right answer is probably WiMax. But rural citizens that desire broadband and can afford service do have satellite as an option.
I fear the far more important citizens that have no broadband access are disadvantaged urban residents. Those citizens could get broadband but can't afford it. Moreover they can't afford a PC either. And it's these urban areas where we need disadvantaged students to have Internet and PC access.
I know about the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) and Intel Classmate PC initiatives. But those are mainly targeted at developing nations. Moreover those PC designs are rather primitive. In the US our students need access to realistically-powered systems even in elementary school. Given the state of our debt as a country, I couldn't suggest that the government underwrite free PCs any more than I can advocate the government paying for free universal Internet access. But I sure hope the increased interest and awareness in recycling PCs can put more useable systems into the right hands.