A proposal to deliver free wireless broadband to 95% of the US population is finding public support, even as it looks like it will be rejected by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
According to the company behind the proposal, M2Z Networks, more than 1000 people from 49 states have written to the FCC in an attempt to reverse a draft order by FCC Chairman Martin that is believed to deny the application.
M2Z is behind the Coalition for free broadband, which has been set up to garner public support for the proposal.
A petition signed by over 50,000 Americans urging the FCC to approve M2Z’s application is already on the record.
M2Z says it has the support of hundreds of local, state and federal elected officials as well as a range of leading advocacy groups on issues concerning the digital divide, family values, economic development and national competitiveness.
“We are proposing to deliver a new and innovative service to Americans who all deserve free and family-friendly broadband access,” said John Muleta, CEO of M2Z Networks. “We’ve asked the FCC to decide whether such a service is in the public interest. Especially in light of the Chairman’s current leaning, we believe that the extensive public record, including this recent outpouring of public support, speaks for itself.
“Even through these dog days of summer, the public is still watching. Every 7 minutes someone is telling the FCC to act in the public interest.”
M2Z Networks currently has an application before the FCC to lease 20MHz of fallow spectrum to build a nationwide network to offer fast, free and family friendly broadband to 95 percent of the US population within ten years.
The service will be supported by locally targeted search results and will include a network-level filter to shield children using the service from indecent content.
If licensed, M2Z would pay the U.S. Treasury 5 percent of annual gross revenues from its premium subscription services.
M2Z claims that the introduction of M2Z’s broadband service would generate $18 to $32 billion in direct consumer benefits over the next 15 years according to two uncontested economic studies.
Despite the obvious benefits to consumers, it’s also easy to see why the FCC might have reservations. A massive undertaking such as this is fraught with risk, and free wireless broadband, funded by search advertising, certainly puts this proposal in the ”too good to be true” category.