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Startup Wants To Offer Free Nationwide Wireless
M2Z Networks says it wants to provide "near ubiquitous" coverage at
speeds of about 384 Kbps for downloads in the 2.1 GHz spectrum band.
By David Haskin
May 22, 2006 10:05 AM
A startup says it will provide free nationwide wireless access in the
U.S. if it is granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission
In papers filed with the FCC earlier this month, M2Z Networks said it
wants to provide "near ubiquitous" nationwide wireless coverage at
speeds of about 384 Kbps for downloads in the 2.1 Ghz spectrum band. The
company called that band of spectrum, "largely fallow, unpaired, and
One of the company's founders is John Muleta, the former head of the
FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. The other co-founder is Milo
Medin, who co-founded the @Home service in the mid-90s. According to the
filing, the company has the backing of three venture capital firms:
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Charles River Ventures, and Redpoint
M2Z said in its filing that, in addition to the free service at 384
Kpbs, it would offer faster service for an added free. It said it would
pay the U.S. government five percent of the revenues from that premium
service. The slower service would be supported by advertising and, while
free, would require users to purchase an inexpensive receiving device,
the application states.
The company said in its filing that its free service was in the public
interest and would benefit the public and spur competition.
"Grant of this Application would promote broadband deployment; yield
near ubiquitous broadband access within 10 years of license grant and
commencement of operation; and service the public interest, convenience
and necessity," the company said in its grant application to the FCC,"
M2Z said in its filing.
"Consumers will benefit from the competitive spur that M2Z will provide
to other broadband service providers, leading to increased innovation
and competitive pricing," the company said. It also said that
governmental public safety agencies could use the network for free.
M2Z said it would start the service within two years of being granted
the license by the FCC. It said it would commit to covering one-third of
the U.S. population within three years of starting its build-out and
two-thirds of the U.S. population within five years. It pledged its
service would cover 95 percent of the population within ten years.
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