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The Boston Globe


Free super Wi-Fi plan stirs opposition

WASHINGTON — The federal government wants to create super Wi-Fi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill.

The proposal, from the Federal Communications Commission, has rattled the $178 billion wireless industry, which has launched a fierce lobbying effort to persuade policy makers to reconsider the idea, analysts say. That has been countered by an equally intense campaign from Google, Microsoft, and other tech giants who say a free-for-all Wi-Fi service would spark an explosion of innovation and devices that would benefit most Americans, especially the poor.

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