TMCnews Featured Article

September 03, 2010

FCC Terminates AWS-3 Rulemaking to Auction Spectrum with Free Broadband Requirement; Breaks National Broadband Plan Commitment

By Sujata Garud, TMCnet Contributor

FCC (News - Alert) terminates AWS-3 spectrum public interest rulemaking; ends prospect of free wireless broadband

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ceased the AWS-3 spectrum (2155-2180 MHz) public interest rulemaking.

The decision ends the possibility of providing free nationwide broadband service in the United States for the foreseeable future. The commission has already informed M2Z (News - Alert) Networks, Inc. (M2Z) and its Silicon Valley investors including Kleiner Perkins, Charles River Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures about the termination.

This decision reverses the commission’s National Broadband Plan commitment to finalize the AWS-3 spectrum rulemaking in Q4/2010 and for the spectrum to be auctioned by Q2/2011. Since 2006, the FCC has been considering M2Z's proposal for a free nationwide broadband network using AWS-3.

In a press release, John Muleta, CEO of M2Z Networks, said "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."

"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," he said. "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."

For more infromation check out this recent article by TMCnet's Paula Bernier (News - Alert).

Sujata Garud is a TMCnet freelancer with three years of writing/editing experience and two years of market research experience. As an editor she has covered the IT, electronics, banking, pharma, construction, mining and healthcare industries. To see more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard