Free Nationwide Wireless Internet Access Takes a Step Closer to Reality

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An FCC proposal to create a wireless data network that would cover most of the U.S. has passed another hurdle.

For the past several months, other wireless carriers have been trying to block this proposal on the grounds that the new service could interfere with their networks. Last week, the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology announced the results of multiple rounds of testing: the rules proposed by the FCC can be employed “without a significant risk of harmful interference.”

What Is the Proposal?

The FCC now intends to auction off a piece of the wireless spectrum (2155 – 2175 MHz), with the requirement that whichever company ends up holding the license has to provide free wireless data access at 768 kbps. 

They would also have just 4 years offer service to half of the  U.S. population, and 10 years to cover 95% of the population.

In addition, the network would have to provide protection against children viewing inappropriate content.

Is It Really Going to Be Free?

M2Z Networks has been one of the major proponents of this plan since the beginning, and had originally asked the FCC to give it this block of spectrum for free, on the condition that accessing the resulting wireless network would be free.

However, this proposal met too much opposition, so now the FCC is going to auction it off. M2Z is clearly still interested, though, and certainly seems determined to win the auction.

It has said in the past that it could pay for setting up and running this Internet access service with advertising and by offering faster access for a fee.

At this point, it is not clear who else will be bidding in the spectrum.

More information can be found on the M2Z website.

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Via WSJ

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