FCC report helps case for free nationwide wireless

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin

Here’s the story so far. There’s a company called M2Z Networks that wants to lease the band of wireless spectrum between 2155-2175 MHz known as AWS-3 (Advanced Wireless Service). M2Z then wants to turn around and use that band to provide free wireless internet access “for 95 percent of the population within 10 years,” according to the AFP. Well guess who made a big stink about the whole thing? That’s right, the big wireless companies.

Seems they’d like to protect their lucrative data plans. T-Mobile, in particular, went to the FCC with test results saying that the AWS-3 band “would interfere with mobile devices operating in the adjacent 2110-2155 MHz band known as AWS-1.” However, the FCC carried out its own tests back in September and just issued a report saying that it found “no significant risk of harmful interference.”

These findings, in effect, fly in the face of what the AFP calls the major US telecommunications companies’ “major arguments” and could eventually help pave the way for free (albeit ad-supported) ubiquitous wireless internet access.