Public comment period on free nationwide wireless broadband closing today

  • Menlo Park (CA) – Silicon Valley startup M2Z Networks is inching closer towards its proposed nationwide wireless broadband network that promises to provide free Internet access to 95% of the U.S. population.

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today is closing the public comment period for M2Z, which filed for license to provide national wireless broadband service in May of last year. If approved by the FCC, M2Z would be granted a 15-year lease of a 20 MHz block in the 2155 - 2175 MHz spectrum.

    M2Z said it intends to build a nationwide broadband network based on the 802.16e, commonly referred to as Mobile Wimax, throughout the U.S. The company estimates that it can provide on third of the U.S. population within three years, two thirds within five years and 95% within ten years of build-out time.

    M2Z is backed by venture capital firms Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers; Charles River Ventures; and Redpoint Ventures and claims that its investors already have committed $400 million to get the project off the ground.

    According to M2Z, the proposed service would offer free, advertising-supported Internet access as well as a fee-based subscription service. The company also said that it would transfer 5% of its gross revenues from subscription service to the U.S. Treasury.