M2Z Networks received a boost for its goal to put the "AWS-3" spectrum into play for a nationwide free broadband wireless network Friday. The good news came in a report from the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology that said offering two-way broadband service in the spectrum would not cause harmful interference to wireless services of other carriers - specifically AT&T and T-Mobile. Both wireless carriers called for the FCC to conduct interference analysis before moving forward with auction plans.
"Nationwide lifeline broadband service" is a mouthful, but it is a phrase M2Z Networks wants everyone repeating as the FCC moves forward with AWS auction plans. The auction should include a requirement to provide free 768 kbps download wireless service to 50 percent of the U.S. population in five years and coverage for 95 percent of the U.S. population within 10 years.
However, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. If M2Z were to win the auction, it would make money through selling geo-targeted advertising and by selling a premium unfiltered service at speeds of 3 mbps; the 768 kbps service would be "filtered" and "family friendly" to keep out porn.
Unlike previous crack-brained, ill-designed efforts to provide "free" internet access via Wi-Fi or other means, M2Z Networks has significant management and private sector backing. The company's management team includes @Home co-founder and Internet grey-beard Milo Medin as CTO and founder and John Mutela, former head of the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau from 2003 to 2005, as CEO. At last report, M2N had about $500 million in venture capital backed up, with Kleiner Perkins leading the way.
AWS-3 spectrum debate festers - FierceWireless
M2Z asks FCC to reject more AWS-3 interference tests - FierceWireless