An audacious plan to provide free wireless internet access across the US has finally been killed off by the FCC, much to the delight of the cellular industry.
Last Friday the FCC officially notified M2Z Networks that the AWS-3 spectrum would be auctioned off towards the middle of next year, along with a load of other spectrum as part of the National Broadband Plan, rather than handed over for nothing in the interests of peace, love and free wireless.
That rather scuppered M2Z's plan to use the 20MHz of spectrum to create a national WiMAX network. The plan was to make money on advertising and selling high-speed connections, while providing low-rate data for free. The spectrum has been empty for almost a decade, so M2Z thought it might just move in for nothing.
The problem is that running WiMAX at 2155MHz (where the 20MHz of AWS-3 spectrum is) would risk interfering with neighbouring operations, for which the incumbent operators paid so much. Not to mention the small fact that M2Z's business model was reliant on it being given the spectrum for nothing - something the other operators were never going to tolerate:.