The US government is asking the public to weigh in on how best to upgrade their smartphones and tablets to a cheaper version of its network.
A federal advisory committee, headed by a former Google executive, is recommending consumers switch to a network of lower-cost devices, called Connectify Hotspot.
“A cost-effective, faster, more flexible, more connected device network is the best way to increase the user’s ability to reach their goals,” wrote Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai.
The network, which was originally developed for the World Wide Web, is a $5.99 per month service that provides access to a wide variety of mobile hotspots and services, including data, email, and texting.
Users also get access to video calls, music streaming and streaming video, as well as apps and games, including Angry Birds, Minecraft, and more.
The panel is calling for the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to allow consumers to purchase the service.
Pai’s committee has already urged the FCC to expand the reach of the service to the entire country.
As part of its recommendations, the FCC has recommended that users switch from tethering to the network of the same name, but with a smaller number of hotspots, such as 500, instead of 500,000.
More from CNN:Cable companies fight to get FCC to change rules on net neutralityThe latest tech news and trendsFor those interested in the details, here’s the FCC’s official document.
In a statement to CNN, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association said the agency was “committed to protecting and preserving the open Internet as it exists today,” but the network was also “currently reviewing its options and may consider additional changes.”
“We are encouraged by the progress made by the Federal Advisory Committee and look forward to reviewing their recommendation in due course,” the statement continued.
The cable industry has also come out against the recommendation, and it’s been an uphill battle for the FCC.
For more than a decade, the network has been the source of complaints and consumer confusion, with Comcast and AT&T refusing to carry the service, as do many of the nation’s largest wireless carriers.
Many have said that if the network were offered at a more reasonable price, consumers would be able to buy a new phone or tablet.
With the network’s popularity, many in the industry have claimed that it would be too costly for consumers.