The FCC is set to vote on rules for a new spectrum auction that would require the winner to deliver wireless Internet across wide swaths of America, AP reports.
"We're hoping there will be increased interest (in the proposal) and for the fact that this will provide wireless broadband services to more Americans is certainly something we want to see," said FCC spokesman Rob Kenny.
Under the rules being considered, the new wireless network would have to reach 50 percent of the population within four years and 95 percent after 10 years. The spectrum being auctioned is the 2155-2175MHz band.
The FCC rejected an offer two years ago from M2Z Networks to deliver wireless across the country in exchange for kicking back 5 percent of ad revenues from the network. The FCC rejected that deal because of open bidding requirements. It strikes me at this juncture that M2Z was thinking EarthLink-style muni networks ("we'll build it for free and sell advertising.") Just as EarthLink has seen the light on such deals with cities, I doubt M2Z would be so hot today on the same deal.
At any rate, here's hoping we can make some headway on getting national wireless service. It's amazing to me that all this spectrum has been sold off without any requirements to deliver national broadband.