M2Z Free National Wireless Broadband Plan Finally Dies – CTIA Pleased You Won’t be Getting “Slow” Free 768 Kbps Service

In retrospect, this did sound too good to actually come true …

You might recall that former FCC boss Kevin Martin and a company by the name of M2Z Networks had been cooking up a plan for a smut-censored free national wireless service with a free wireless component. We had predicted the plan would never actually leave the ground and that wound up being true, the project derailed by both politics and the fact that the plan itself while creative — simply wasn’t very good. After returning from the dead and being bounced around the halls of the FCC in slightly modified form, the FCC has finally dropped the effort completely. M2Z sent Broadband Reports an e-mailed statement lamenting the decision:

“The FCC s decision to delay the use of this valuable spectrum forgoes the consumer welfare and economic stimulus that would result from putting new spectrum into the marketplace,” said John Muleta, CEO of M2Z Networks. A new nationwide broadband entrant that provided a free broadband service would have created tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs throughout the country while giving all Americans an equal opportunity to participate in the digital economy. Despite the spectrum crisis facing the U.S. as documented by the FCC s National Broadband Plan, the AWS-3 spectrum will continue to lie fallow providing no economic value to American consumers.”

Of course the plan always faced an uphill battle, and was heavily lobbied against by the wireless industry and their trade group the CTIA, who obviously didn’t want the added competition for lower end customers. The CTIA sent us a statement saying they were “pleased” by the FCC’s decision:

“As we had argued throughout the proceeding, a designer allocation auction that would be tailored for one company was not in the public s interest, especially when that company was offering broadband service that is slow by even yesterday s standards.”

While 768 kbps is certainly slow, you probably would have a hard time beating the price, and M2Z did show a degree of vision in the plan’s development. The plan itself was just always various degrees of bad, initially including a mandate that would require porn filters. Various versions were also based on seemingly unrealistic build out schedules, and the end result was never really going to offer particularly compelling speeds.
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