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Free Nationwide Wireless Internet Access? 350

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the large-undertakings dept.
LiquidEdge writes "ISP-Planet is reporting that startup M2Z wants to offer 95% of America free wireless Internet access using the 20Mhz frequency allocation. They're backed by Kleiner Perkins, one of the most successful VC firms in history, and being started by the guy who built the @Home network and a former FCC Wireless Bureau Chief. 384/128 speeds will be free and they'll sell the higher speeds and the government will get a kickback of the revenue."
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Free Nationwide Wireless Internet Access?

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  • ...have anything to say about it. This effectively proposes enough bandwidth to eliminate the need for a traditional cellphone. Instead, you'd be able to carry around a Voice over IP phone [vonage.com] that gets you the same coverage everywhere, with no "per minute" fees. The likely extension of this would be that a new telephone network would emerge that wouldn't even bother with POTS compatibility. Just assign your phone a DNS name, and you can start calling "l33tdude.myphone.net" instead of a horribly abstract phone number.

    Give it enough time, and the POTS system (as well as all those expensive cell towers) would go away permenently. The result would be a network with communications that are as free as instant messaging from your computer. Certainly an attractive world for the consumer, but can we really expect to get there without interference? Not to mention that this would mean the end to phones subsidized by cell phone connectivity. Net phones would sell for what they're actually worth as opposed to being "free" or "discounted" with service.

    Not that this isn't without its advantages. I don't know about anyone else, but my cell phone never truly feels like it's "mine". Its linkage with my phone carrier makes it feel more like a device I've rented. Especially when carriers like Verizon go out of their way to disable features like the USB connectivity on the Razrs. Sure, in theory you can pop in a new SIM card. But because of network differences and technology changes, it usually ends up being easier to get a new phone and throw your old one in a landfill. What a waste.
    • by interiot (50685) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:21PM (#15388515) Homepage
      Even without inexpensive wireless, sooner or later POTS numbers will be supplemented [wikipedia.org] and ultimately supplanted.
    • Not just the cells (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wiredog (43288) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:24PM (#15388532) Journal
      The cable companies (not much difference between them and 'traditional' telcos) will also want to stomp his idea flat.
      • by twistedsymphony (956982) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @04:46PM (#15389534) Homepage
        indeed, especially considering a system like this wouldn't have any need for net-neutrality laws and the whole telco ideal of throttling bandwidth to sites or consumers that don't pay up would only hurt them further.

        If they really want to sell this they'd just have to promote the angle that a government controlled network would allow the government to much more easily spy and monitor that network... then knobbiest be damned because legal power is worth more then bribes at that point.
    • by dsginter (104154) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:25PM (#15388537)
      From what I can gather, any cell company would want the sole control of some UHF bandwidth in exchange for offering "free" entry-level wireless internet access *in exchange for* the right to offer premium pay-for / high-performance service.

      Its a trick. Get an axe!

      No sir. If anything, just open the entire UHF spectrum for municipal wireless internet access. We don't need to assign control to a single entity (e.g. - two or three companies would be able to compete for both free and pay-for service). Yes, you'd still have to regulate it a bit since the spectrum is too valuable to be clouded up by the general public but single-source is just too dangerous. We've already learned that most anyone will take a few dollars in exchange for their corruption (e.g. - the "free" service has high-latency that prevents VoIP and other value added services).
    • I didnt RTFA (probably slashdotted anyway). IBut if they're using 20MHz carrier frequency then they won't be able to stuff many bits down that pipe. To get, say, a 1Mbit channel is going to require a reasonably large bandwidth. Bigger than you're going to be allocated at 20MHz.

      Perhaps TFA means a 20MHz wide band at some vastly higher frequency. In that case I guess things are possible. Still, all those free users will very soon choke the channel and if you're paying nothing you can't exactly demand any perf

      • by ZombieWomble (893157) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:35PM (#15388613)
        Yes, TFA is incorrectly worded. They applied for the 2155 to 2175MHZ band.

        Interestingly, they reason they're offering the government money is not as a 'kick-back', but to actually pay for the allocation, since they aren't offering any money to purchase it up-front.

        • ...

          ... pay-as-you-go spectrum? Is the U.S. government in the habit of approving business plans now? Has the FCC ever had this arrangement with any other company before?

      • by MoOsEb0y (2177) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:35PM (#15388615)
        A single 802.11a channel occupies 16.6 Mhz of bandwidth. This gets 54 mbps using QAM. Look it up on wikipedia if you don't believe me. Using CDMA and directional antennas, the issue of signals jumping on each other could easily be solved. 20 Mhz is plenty of bandwidth for 384kbps wireless. I pay $15 a month for this already with Sprint, so handing it out for free would be great.

        Oh, and yes.. TFA is slashdotted.
      • I was wondering the same thing. Since (I think) best case you can get 1Mbit/sec out of 1MHz of spectrum width, that would mean that the channel at 20.00MHz would need 384kHz to deliver 384kbits/sec, meaning 20.00 - 20.384 would be used downstream. Where the heck would the upstream be?

        And not to mention that 20MHz propagation carries it all over the world. I'm not sure our global neighbors would like us stomping all over entire swaths of the international spectrum.
        • That doesn't really make sense. 1 hz of frequency range doesn't equate to 1 bit of data per second. Think about it, if you have a carrier wave at 20 million cycles per second, you could theoretically have 40 million edges of the wave to carry information, along with the amplitude of the wave. I'm not an electrical engineer by any means, and I'm not sure how you would calculate theoretical values for frequency modulated signals [slashdot.org]. Am I missing something? Is there some page that would explain it better?
        • The capacity of a communications channel is primarily dependent on the bandwidth and signal-to-noise ratio. See the Shannon-Hartley theorem [wikipedia.org]. Given a fixed 1 MHz channel, the bit rate depends on the signal-to-noise ratio.
        • by scoove (71173)
          And not to mention that 20MHz propagation carries it all over the world.

          Exactly. Lots of folks don't realize we're in the bottom of the solar cycle. It's freaking dead on 10 meters (28 MHz) right now - I made a PSK-31 contact a month ago on 10m only because some other guy 40 miles from me was as curious as I was as to how dead it really was.

          But the old hams talk about when the cycle wakes up. I mentioned in a previous post about working 17m (18 MHz) two nights ago for a 800+ mile contact. I picked up CW (mo
      • They are definitely wrong; 20 MHz really isn't any good for the type of bandwidth they want, unless they took a huge swath of spectrum.

        I noticed however that aside from what I knew was down around 20MHz (namely the 15m amateur band), there is a chunk of specturm that's just allocated to "Fixed" and "Mobile" operation (20.010 to 21.0 MHz), so it's not wholly unbelievable. That's the same allocation as the frequencies they're actually asking for, which is a 20 MHz block up at 2155 MHz.

        Anyone with an interest
        • by scoove (71173)
          They are definitely wrong; 20 MHz really isn't any good for the type of bandwidth they want, unless they took a huge swath of spectrum.

          It's an interesting band as well. I'd love to see how they deal with it during more active cycles. Your 1 MHz slice might suddenly propegate for a few hundred miles - not exactly the kind of frequency you want for cell-based coverage (unless that is their plan - to only use a couple of nodes per state for "384" divided by tens of thousands of customers. I've been working 17
    • Certainly the telecommunications industry has a vested interest in not seeing this come to fruition. However, given the recent efforts by the government to build massive data-mining operations, we now have the government emerging as a player not interested in seeing this happen.

      If we have a VOIP cell phone that has secure communications, then the government has no way of listening in on calls ( with or without a warrant). If we have some kind of onion-based routing of calls, the government is no longer ab
    • Actually, you would probably wnt to call l33tdude.mobi [slashdot.org]
    • The existing phone companies could use their massive financial resources to jump on top of this and beat any startups to the punch, cornering a potentially massive market early on.

      Yes, I know it's not as simple as that, but ultimately I see traditional providers as shooting themselves in the foot by trying to restrict change. If you don't have the best way of doing something, sooner or later your customers are going to take their money to the person who does.
      • Theres plenty of non traditional suppliers lining up for the auction with similar aspirations to unwire the States. This particular idea has probably arrived too late to be considered by the Government, which will have already lined up some very agressive bidders with very deep pockets for the spectrum sale.

        Its an appealing business model though, because it matches the price of the spectrum against the revenue that can be earned from it rather than the crazy bids for 3G mobile which IMHO was partly to blame
        • Spectrum Cash (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TubeSteak (669689)

          Its an appealing business model though, because it matches the price of the spectrum against the revenue that can be earned from it rather than the crazy bids for 3G mobile which IMHO was partly to blame for the tech crash in 2001.

          Spectrum sales have much more to do with stuff than just the tech crash.

          One of the secrets to the Clinton Administration's projected budget surplus(es) was they expected a lot of cash to come in from future spectrum auctions.

          The specific auction (I think) that you're talking about

    • but can we really expect to get there without interference?

      No pun intended.

    • Not that this isn't without its advantages. I don't know about anyone else, but my cell phone never truly feels like it's "mine". Its linkage with my phone carrier makes it feel more like a device I've rented. Especially when carriers like Verizon go out of their way to disable features like the USB connectivity on the Razrs. Sure, in theory you can pop in a new SIM card. But because of network differences and technology changes, it usually ends up being easier to get a new phone and throw your old one in a

      • You sir, are missing the point. *whack*

        I use Cingular

        So do I.

        don't have these problems.

        You don't have the issue that you have to replace your phone every few years because the technology, service plans, and network differences have made you obsolete? You don't have the problem that your service provider is soaking you for every little service above and beyond "voice call time"? You don't have the problem that you have to worry about whether your network covers an area instead of Sprint Nextel, Celluar One,
        • I think you're looking for things to complain about.

          You don't have the issue that you have to replace your phone every few years because the technology, service plans, and network differences have made you obsolete?

          No. Cingular and AT&T have used GSM here since 2002. T-Mobile also entered this market in 2002. Phones from 2002 still work, but I upgrade regularly. That doesn't stop people from using old phones. If people have no interest in using GPRS/EDGE based services, they don't need to upgrade.

    • "A" 20MHz allocation != "The" 20MHz allocation

      Radioheads such as myself, when reading of an allocation beginning with "The", read it to mean that the allocation is in the vicinity of the stated frquency, without saying anything about how wide the band is. In other words, rather than reading this as being 20MHz of spectrum somewehere around 2.1GHz, I read it as being an unspecified amount of spectrum somewhere around 20MHz, which led me to "How the hell are they going to pull that off?!?"

      "A" 20MHz alloc

    • Just assign your phone a DNS name, and you can start calling "l33tdude.myphone.net" instead of a horribly abstract phone number.
      Why bother? We've already got 10-digit phone numbers, what's two more for a proper full IP address? As phones all have number storage built in, you've only gotta remember it once and sending a text message or doing anything else that requires text input on a standard phone keypad is annoying enough as-is.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:19PM (#15388495)
    Seriously. They'll make up for it on volume.
  • Intriguing, but... (Score:4, Informative)

    by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:20PM (#15388504)

    ...it also sounds strangely familiar [intel.com], somehow...

    From TFA (emphasis mine):

    "M2Z's goal is ... provide free high speed connections to 95 percent of U.S. consumers without any recurring fees. This is a grand undertaking."
    Translation: We won't see it in our lifetimes.

    I hope I'm wrong, but this sort of thing has been tried before, with less than satisfactory results [dailywireless.org].
    • This company will probably fail, but maybe this will open the door to the FCC making lower frequencies available easier. 2.4ghz and 20mhz are quite a bit different in their carrying power. It'd be nice if an organization could pay under 5,000 bucks and get licensed spectrum that low. They could become a citywide ISP, or large organizations could equip their mobile units with citywide internet access. Not for your average consumer, but GPRS is too expensive and I could fathom small ISP's charging 30 bucks a
  • by misleb (129952) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:23PM (#15388525)
    Free internet access. How do we make money? Volume.

    Ya, I know, just the low speed is free. But still, doesn't sound like a solid business plan. From what I understand, what people like most about broadband is the "always on" aspect.. not so much the bandwidth. I wonder if 384/128 is low enough to encourage people to pay for the faster service.

    -matthew
    • With more video and audio being delivered, you can bet that 384/128 is too slow. Hi-def streaming video (eg, pr0n, the driver of internet technology) needs bandwidth.
    • I wonder if 384/128 is low enough to encourage people to pay for the faster service.

      Generally I would tend to agree with you. IMHO, 128/128 would be a better bandwidth point. However, with the rise of Hi-Def media and multimedia over the Internet, it's only a matter of time before Hi-Def over the Internet becomes the standard. When that happens, I imagine that you'll see a lot of users looking for more bandwidth to power their in-SUV televisions/radios, their video-conferencing cellphones, and their on-the-
      • I think uniqutous HiDef over the internet is a long way off. It is barely a standard in broadcast (in the US anyway). The internet bandwidth just isn't there. To get it there, expect to see the bill from your ISP double. But I guess that wouldn't be so bad if you could say good bye to your $100 cable/satelite TV bill...

        -matthew
        • I think uniqutous HiDef over the internet is a long way off.

          So's the 95% coverage of a wireless network. This request to the FCC is nothing more than planting a tiny seed at the moment. It will easily take 5-10 years to come to fruition.

          The internet bandwidth just isn't there. To get it there, expect to see the bill from your ISP double.

          I think you underestimate the economics of the situation. Each year, the companies who make the networking equipment make new breakthroughs in faster telecommunications har
          • The use of Law [wikipedia.org] is correct in this case. While it is not a physical law it is a fair to describe it as a technological law derived from repeated empirical observations of technological development behavior.

            From the Wiki:

            A physical law, scientific law, or a law of nature is a scientific generalization based on empirical observations of physical behavior. They are typically conclusions based on the confirmation of hypotheses through repeated scientific experiments over many years, and which have become ac

    • by whyrat (936411) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:32PM (#15388585)
      I'm reminded of the good old days of "shotgunning" modems together to combine the total bandwidth. Only now you don't even need multiple phone lines, just multiple wireless receivers.

      What stops me from getting 20 free wireless hookups and running a shotgun program to effectively combine the bandwidth? Other than some sort of account creation requirements (one connection per address? or per Credit card?) I don't see how they could really prevent this.

      Sounds like a future OSS project if this project goes through ;)
      • "I'm reminded of the good old days of "shotgunning" modems together to combine the total bandwidth. Only now you don't even need multiple phone lines, just multiple wireless receivers."

        Well, that would sort-of work. You might be able to get multiple transmitters to send on each one of the frequency slots on a given channel set. The largest problem to that really working is that you're going to have a hell of a time getting the transponders to sync up nicely and not collide and interfere with each other.

        • How is this in any way theft, or even illegal? Abuse of the service definitely, and probably ruled out by any EULA that you have to pass before getting on the network, but you can't steal something that's free. It's not like you'd be getting the paid service for free either - what you do get may be as good or better than the paid service, but it isn't the same so they haven't "stolen" that. It'd be like taking 20 free AOL CDs from the bucket rather than the one they intend you to take; I can't see how it ca
    • Free internet access. How do we make money? Volume.
      That's genius! You can get a quiet phone call for free, but normal phone calls would cost 1 cent per minute, and loud phone calls 2 cents per minute. If you want speaker phone, that's 3 cents per minute, or 1 center per minute per person within audio range.
  • by chundo (587998) <jeremy.jongsma@org> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:27PM (#15388548)
    and the government will get a kickback of the revenue.

    That's called "lobbying".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:27PM (#15388554)
    It's apparently called "linksys"
  • Hmmm... (Score:3, Funny)

    by lorcha (464930) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:29PM (#15388569)
    Looks like isp-planet.com should have paid for the faster link!
  • Frequency Allocation (Score:4, Informative)

    by Detritus (11846) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:30PM (#15388573) Homepage
    According to this [teleclick.ca], they plan to use 2155-2175 MHz, not 20 MHz. After all the nonsense with BPL. I was afraid that someone else was stupid enough to propose using HF for short-range data transmission.
  • They're backed by Kleiner Perkins, one of the most successful VC firms in history

    Oh, that's good.

    and being started by the guy who built the @Home network and a former FCC Wireless Bureau Chief.

    Oh, that's bad.

  • by Intron (870560)
    Looks like that's WWV right now. I guess we have to give up the radio time standard?
  • I wonder if this might end up in direct (or indirect) competition with Google at some point in the future. With all the reports of dark fibre [slashdot.org] that Google is interested in, one possible purpose would be to provide free/cheap internet access to people. Google is rapidly becoming a major player in the advertising space. Providing free ad-based internet access is something they already seem to have many of the building blocks for.
  • by Parker51 (552001) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:33PM (#15388597)
    "20Mhz frequency allocation"

    More precisely, a 20 MHz *bandwidth* of frequencies in the 2155-2175 MHz band. I did a double-take when first reading this article, because it almost reads as though this service will be operating on a center carrier frequency of 20 MHz. That wouldn't make sense, as that's smack in the middle of the High Frequency, or "shortwave," bands. Not only does that provide worldwide propagation at modest signal powers (as little as a few Watts), users of those frequency bands would be limited to at most a few hundred kHz of bandwidth, which would be unusuable for high-speed computer networking.

    So, the M2Z service is proposing to run on a microwave band, requiring lots of infrastructure and towers, like WiFi or cellular telephone.
  • by Mantrid (250133) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:35PM (#15388618) Journal
    Um, the 1990's called, they want their business model back!
    • Re:Um Excuse me? (Score:3, Informative)

      by hackstraw (262471) *
      Um, the 1990's called, they want their business model back!

      Oh, and this is started by the guy who built the @Home network. This is the same guy that had a pretty much monopoly on high-speed, almost nationwide coverage, that everybody wanted, but just couldn't seem to make any cash off of it.

      I want the 90s back!

  • ... the minute ISPs get together and decide to traffic shape, shoving VoIP to the bottom of the list. A nice idea, and certainly it has it's merits. But can anyone else expect ISPs to tolerate a massive increase in end-to-end communications like this? Especially when some of them (Verizon, I'm looking at you) have a vested interest.

    If they'll do it for bit-torrent, they'll do it for VoIP.
  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Instine (963303) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:39PM (#15388651)
    ...will I be able to use it in my flying car?
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:39PM (#15388652)
    Fooey.

    Still another plan that will fail out of the starting gate. How about blimps, covering the horizon? 384k is barely usable. If you want it today, get an EV-DO card from Verizon or Sprint... or maybe an Edge card from Cingular/T-Mobile downstream-- once they can cover more than a few sq mi at a time.

    This is not only money down a rat hole, but the announcement is also designed to queer all of the WiFi providers trying to build business cases across the country.

    Not going to happen. Worse, it's obfuscation at its pinnacle.
    • by jgoemat (565882) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:56PM (#15388747)
      EVDO isn't much better [evdoinfo.com] now. A lot of DSL subscribers are still that slow. 384k is perfectly usable for most things you need to do on the net (email, remote desktop, web browsing, game playing), it just takes longer for downloading large files or watching streaming video. Tell my parents out in the boonies that still use dialup that it wouldn't be an improvement, or people that can't afford the rates for cell-based wireless. Also, 95% sounds pretty dang good for driving around the country.
      • This is the diff between actual EV-DO and 1xRTT.

        Perfectly usable.... today.... if you don't mind waiting for anything with serious graphical content. Those damned to dialup deserve something better. This is like putting your foot on the garden hose, and that's yesterday, not four years from now when the graphical content mix will be a far higher ratio.

        Bad idea. Bad cost, and the 95% is a pipe dream-- a pipe full of drugs.
  • by thealsir (927362) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:40PM (#15388658) Homepage
    The whole idea of "long distance" went away with the net. Since then, it's just been phone companies that have gotten in the way of progress. Internet == phone. Will happen soon. Why not yet? Pigopoly.
  • More Info on M2Z (Score:3, Informative)

    by theGreater (596196) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:41PM (#15388666) Homepage
  • I'm torn... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ag-gvts-inc (844888)
    If it works, it'll be extremely useful. Combine it with either webmail or webmail via pop3, and my parents'll never have to pay for an isp again. Unfortunately, it'll also probably kill the local wisp. Which would be quite a shame, those guys have nearly succeeded in covering the last mile here where I live. And they're affordable too (ie, they're not making much off it.)
  • by soft_guy (534437) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:51PM (#15388717)
    I for one would like to welcome our new free wireless overlords. May death come quickly to their enemies!
  • by devphaeton (695736) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @03:08PM (#15388821)
    Here's a conversation I have increasingly often:

    customer: I just bought a laptop and the wireless internet stuff only works in my apartment.

    me: Do you have an account with ?

    customer: I don't need one. It's free here in .

    me: Sorry, you're not an customer. There is no wireless internet available where you are.

    customer: Yes there is! Flip over the other card and read that. *duh*

    me: ....

    customer: All new laptops come with free internet.

    me: Great, but you still need to contact the ISP that your laptop is partnered with and sign up.

    customer: You must be new, or something. You obviously don't get it. I just start up my laptop, and it says "Successfully connected to the Linksie System thingy" and off i go!
  • wants to offer 95% of America free wireless Internet access

    Somehow I just know I'll find myself in the 5% without.

    Somehow the RIAA will find you anyway.

    Somehow it won't be as free, or as fast, as you thought it would be.

    Somehow it will arrive later than expected.

    Somehow most of the above will prove true.

  • "they'll sell the higher speeds and a select group of corrupt individuals in the government will get a kickback of the revenue and hide it away in their freezers [cbsnews.com]"
  • Kleiner Perkins? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mapkinase (958129) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @03:31PM (#15389001) Homepage Journal
    Kleiner Perkins, one of the most successful VC firms in history


    Here is their portfolio [kpcb.com]

    Why I am not impressed?
  • Just register with your address and valid SSN. And photo.
  • by Douglas Simmons (628988) * on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @04:04PM (#15389226) Homepage
    Linking up a router to a bunch of routers is called point to multipoint networking and if you want to wirelessly wire up your neighborhood you're going to need routers that can do this. The most economical and possibly the best option that I have found is the Buffalo NL-3054CB3. (If you google the model number, other brands pop up, apparently the identical device -- saw one deal for under $120 each). It sounds a little too good to be true, but according to this website, http://www.buffalowireless.net/wireless_equipment/ wireless_equipment.html [buffalowireless.net], this can transmit data up to 1.2KM (line of sight) and it can function both as an access point and bridge simultaneously (it can talk to routers and regular laptops and computers).

    If you wanted to use a familiar brand, Cisco's Aironet 1300, http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps5861/product s_configuration_guide_chapter09186a008021e5ca.html [cisco.com], looks like another option except it costs ten times as much and I'm not sure what advantages if any it has over the aforementioned device other than perhaps the support you'd get from a larger company like Cisco. When you deploy a network on such a scale, you're going to get people who use it to download movie after movie, so advanced bandwidth throttling (prioritizing certain types of traffic over others) would be key, and you might have to pay up for something like this Cisco device for the traffic shaping. Not sure about that...

    For mega long range antennae to scatter around the neighborhood, as with the city of Cleveland which went wireless, have a look at this to learn more about the WISP (wireless internet service provider) deployment and equipment you'd need: http://www.trangobroadband.com/products/atlas_ptp. shtml [trangobroadband.com].
    That company sells products that can beam twenty miles (line of sight, of course).

  • Dave Burstein here, author of this one. Comments are right on target, so I thought to stop by with some followup.
    1- The business plan sounds dubious, but heck, let's let Kleiner Perkins pay the bill to find out whether they are chasing a dot-com model. May or may not be decent business (smart folk like Dewayne Hendricks are skeptical), but it's good policy to get it built. They are only asking for a 15 year license, not perpetual.
    2- The existing carriers will fight like hell to stop anything like this, as noted. So instead of whining, do something in D.C.. I hear more people making noise on these forums than I ever hear in Washington. I know you think Washington never listens, but I've seen ideas of mine in FCC regulations and congressional statements. You may not have the $million AT&T gave to Congressman Bobby Rush, but may of the people making decisions are honest and will listen to you as well. Email me daveb at dslprime.com for some ideas.
    3- "So, will this be 95% of the population of the U.S., or 95% of the geographical area?" They are aiming for 95% of the population, with a sensible excuse not to get to the other 5%: excess cost of fiber to connect the towers to the Internet backbone. So my next editorial will be: Serving the next 10%: FCC needs to bring down the cost of backhaul Revive tough "special access" rules where broadband is hard to get (suggesting that if the local carrier isn't offering DSL, make them lease fiber cheaply to someone who will.)
    4- All that said about universal broadband coverage on land, some small portion of users (my guess is 1-3% but no one has hard data) are best served by satellite because of terrain/distance problems. Policy on that is to find a way to bring down the price/bring up the speed of satellite service. I always prefer to do that by competition when that can work.
    Dave Burstein
    Editor, DSL Prime
  • by Mozleron (944945) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @08:15PM (#15390741)
    Did any of you happen to read the Executive summary of M2Z's proposal? Their goals are: "(1)provide nationwide boadband service with no recurring costs to all users that pruchase and register an M2Z certified device; (2)construct its network so that at least 95% of the U.S. population - in urban centers and rural communities across America - can avail themselves of the service within 10 years of license grant and commencement of operations; (3)block access to indecent content for all free access service users;(emphasis added) (4)provide public safety officials with access to an interoperable secondary data network, with appropriate consultation with such officials as to their needs; and (5)submit a voluntary payment to the U.S. Treasurey of 5% of gross revenues generated from the subscription services that it will offer in addition to the free National Broadband Radio Service."

    Quoted from http://www.m2znetworks.com/pdf/Application.pdf/ [m2znetworks.com]

    I'm not too sure if i'm okay with giving this agency the power to decide what is "indecent" or not. China's government has assumed that 'right' and look at what they consider "indecent". While this is America, the pandering tone of this application makes me think that the currently Bush stacked F'nCC will jump all over that "indecent Content" bit and have a field day with it...

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