Sunday, September 16, 2007

M2Z Reaches Wholesale Deal with Rural Telcos

M2Z Networks, the venture-backed start-up whose' goal is to build a free broadband wireless network across the U.S. using in 2155-2175 MHz spectrum band, announced a wholesale partnership with Broadband Wireless Partners (BWP), a consortium founded by 20 Rural Local Exchange Carriers (RLECs) currently providing service to approximately two million rural consumers in 35 states.

M2Z will provide high-speed wireless broadband service on a wholesale basis to the RLECs who will sell the bundled services to their customers. The agreement also provides for M2Z to purchase access to RLEC facilities, the RLECs' access to certified modems for their customers, and coordination of marketing activities between M2Z and the RLECs.

M2Z plans to again present its spectrum proposal in the FCC's forthcoming rulemaking process.

  • In August, the FCC dismissed a petition from M2Z Networks seeking an exclusive license to nationwide spectrum in the 2155-2175 MHz band. The company had sought to provide free, advertising-supported, wireless Internet access in areas reaching 95% of the U.S. population. In return, M2Z was promising a 5% royalty payment of its revenues to the U.S. Treasury for 15 years. Instead, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in which it will explore future usage of the fallow spectrum.

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