RealTime IT News

FCC Goes WiFi

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said Tuesday it would provide free wireless Internet access to visitors at its Washington office. The system uses the 802.11a and 802.11b protocols and visitors can use the service on the 12th Street, Courtyard and eighth floor levels.

The FCC will not provide technical support, and all transactions using the service are the responsibility of the visitor. At present, the FCC will not request personal identifying information prior to allowing access to the wireless network.

If requested by outside authorities, however, the FCC will provide data from system audit logs to support external investigations of improper Internet use.

"When you come to the FCC, leave the cords at home," said FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell. "Were embracing the power of WiFi and the freedom and convenience of wireless Internet access it gives to consumers."

Last year, Powell directed his staff to take the steps needed to make the FCC one of the first federal agencies to provide public WiFi access.