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Free Broadband for the Masses?


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Free Broadband for the Masses

News Analysis By Steve Rosenbush ~ BusinessWeek

"John Muleta, a senior U.S. communications official under both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Muleta, former head of the wireless bureau at the Federal Communications Commission, wants to offer free wireless broadband to consumers across the U.S. So he has launched a new company called M2Z Networks,"

"M2Z aims [to] provide a basic advertiser-supported service at no cost to consumers."

"But what may sound like a straightforward plan won't be easy to put into practice. M2Z's biggest obstacle is gaining access to the radio airwaves over which wireless signals travel. The FCC typically sells the airwaves, or spectrum, at auctions where rival bidders spend large sums with no guarantee that they can secure the specific chunks of spectrum they want. The biggest-ever FCC auction of spectrum, worth an estimated $8 billion to $15 billion, is set to begin next month (see BW Online, 05/05/06, "The New Wireless Wars")."

"M2Z plans to use a new kind of wireless technology called OFDM, which some say is faster and cheaper than current wireless options (see BW Online, 08/22/05, "Why Qualcomm Has Its Wallet Out"). Sachs says OFDM costs about one-tenth the price of wireless technologies on the market just a few years ago."

Copyright 2000- 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc

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Learn something everyday. I never knew the FCC auctioned that stuff off. I dont know what to think about it but its interesting to know.

Ah! grasshopper, it is good to learn you are able to still learn a few tricks of the trade. . .

not good idea to hurt head by thinking, though ~ lol

Regarding the article, I wish Mr. Muleta success in his endeavor. I think his concept of using a free, ad-supported plan as a "carrot" to lure people into paying for higher quality service is the most sound idea I have seen involving free wireless Internet access. It seems he is looking at purchasing some licensed spectrum to build his network but his choice of frequency may not be the best choice for many rural areas. But new technology is being developed all the time (I just don't see how this is going to do anything other than provide another high-speed service that will overlap with existing cable and DSL infrastructure). Choice is good, but many of those without broadband have no choice. Wireless has a lot of potential to give folks without broadband a choice but I think that the service will have to be delivered by smaller, regional providers not huge nationwide corporations. Then again you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs so maybe Mr. Muleta's idea will provide a foundation upon which others can build.

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