Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Wireless Networking Advertising Government Networking The Internet United States

M2Z's Free, Wireless Broadband Killed In Advance 113

mspohr writes with a sad excerpt from Fast Company: "Despite a seemingly stout business plan, and all the financial, social, and educational benefits it would bring, the FCC's just turned down M2Z's application for a coast-to-coast free wireless broadband system. ... The FCC is known to have heard complaints about M2Z's plan from existing wireless carriers. Though M2Z's network would've operated at under 1 Mbps peak speeds — meaning it was very slow by today's standards, and probably snail-like by tomorrow's — its free pricing may well have tempted many folks away from spending cash with an established ISP. Those carriers are now reported to be pleased with the FCC's decision, though they argue it's in line with the greater National Broadband Plan. Whenever that actually gets off the ground."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

M2Z's Free, Wireless Broadband Killed In Advance

Comments Filter:
  • Free Internet! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rotide ( 1015173 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @08:56AM (#33487856)
    Citizens: What a great idea! Slow, but available. If I can't and/or don't want to pay a lot for faster Internet, we have an option!
    FCC: Sorry, but this isn't in the best interests of the corporations.
  • by geogob ( 569250 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:01AM (#33487882)

    ... the application was turned down by the FCC for undisclosed reasons, but following the application of many complaints by the competitors. mmmm.
    This sounds about as bad as something our good friends at the CRTC would do.

    The argument that it went against the bold national broadband plan is really unsettling. Maybe we should somehow remind them that it's not because broadband should be available to everyone that everyone wants to (or can) pay its price.

  • by 3.5 stripes ( 578410 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:01AM (#33487884)

    You don't need that much bandwidth to read email, or browse non *tube sites. The article doesn't say if it was open AP free or free with registration (which would have greatly reduced the OMG porn factor), but I'm guessing free with registration, because OMG terrorists.

  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:02AM (#33487894) Homepage is going to include things you won't like, This is just a taste of things to come.

  • Re:Free Internet! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thijsh ( 910751 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:04AM (#33487904) Journal
    Great plan! It would take care of the whole 'right to internet' idea, and make the US one of the first countries to effectively roll out some form of free internet to all citizens. Putting the country at the forefront of modern rights for its citizens. Any government 'for the people' would jump at this idea...
    Yeah, I can see how the corporatocracy would think this is a bad idea. There is no profit in citizen rights...
  • Re:Free Internet! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:16AM (#33487970)
    Let me get this straight, the solution to federal agencies giving corporate interests what they want in preference to what the citizens want is solved by abolishing them? I'm sorry, but there's something about that which I clearly don't understand. That seems like the solution to getting a bit wet in the rain from puddles is to cut holes in ones umbrella.
  • by Haedrian ( 1676506 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:22AM (#33487994)

    Simple as that. When this system will make a large-enough-to-afford-lobbying company rich, then it'll pass.

  • by anguirus.x ( 1463871 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:27AM (#33488032)
    Think about this. This company is being criticized for trying to offer a product that is a generation *behind* the current technology. Just think if you wanted to buy a microwave, but you were forced to pay double what you wanted to because some government regulation mandated you adhere to a minimum power rating, safety features like locking doors, etc. etc. etc. It would be considered intrusive and there are a ton of people who would just say "Fsck it, I don't really need soggy pizza rolls anyways". That's what we have right now with the FCC. There are millions of Americans who have no internet because it's too expensive, and they have no need for the bandwidth. OK established corporations, game time, what can *you* offer us?
  • FCC (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jade_Wayfarer ( 1741180 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:29AM (#33488038)
    Federal Corporative Custodian?
    No, really, what possible valid explanation can they roll out? Maybe they fear that all these hotspots would shred America apart []?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:46AM (#33488148)

    Welcome to the Soviet States of America!

    Killing competition before it even starts, what kind of capitalism is that? Not to mention that in a supposedly democratic country one should be able to choose as well?

    An analogy: the free news and magazines. They are available everywhere, yet still they haven't killed the big name news nor magazines.

    Only ones that the FCC decision serves are the big-a$$ companies. Everybody else is loosing.

  • by Zero__Kelvin ( 151819 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:51AM (#33488178) Homepage

    "Poor families have a tendancy to have more children. They don't need porn."

    On the contrary; if I am to take you at your word, it sounds like that is exactly what they need!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @09:52AM (#33488182)

    This happened in history already almost 100 years ago. Wireless... free... the only difference, it was electrical power instead of internet. They tore down the Wardenclyffe tower because they couldn't meter the power usage. Meaning free wireless Power/Internet/ doesn't work... how did Radio get past that?? Oh ads...right. The thing is even if this went through would it really stop people from paying for fast speed? Not necessarily.. The people who would use this free internet wouldn't be people who already have an ISP at home, but they'd use this on the go, or really really really cheap welfare people who just cant afford internet and never would/could pay for an ISP anyway! So who's losing out here? The people. Thank you and good night.

  • Re:Free Internet! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by noidentity ( 188756 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:11AM (#33488292)
    And who should we blame? Corps, who like everyone, has their best interests in mind, or those who grant their wishes? It should be pretty clear as to the real cause of monopolies...
  • Re:Free Internet! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:58AM (#33488550)

    Why not? We already do that with television. Who died and made you the sole arbiter of what progress is and isn't?

  • Re:Free Internet! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pyrosine ( 1787666 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @12:00PM (#33489038)
    Tell that to the RIAA
  • Re:Free Internet! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GodWasAnAlien ( 206300 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @12:21PM (#33489216)

    The cause is a constant flow of money from corporations to government officials.

    This undermines the democracy, as officials tend to represent those who elect them.

    Without such external money, the officials would tend to represent the voters.
    With such external money, and a system that requires expensive campaigns, the officials will tend to represent those who fund the campaign.

    One way to fix the problem is to eliminate political donations entirely, and only have government funded election information broadcasts (debates, candidate info pages, candidate Q/A,...), on common media (internet, tv, magazines,...).

    Another way to fix the problem is enforce a per-person donation limit, and realize that a corporation is multiple people. A corporation would be required to have people within the corporation (stockholders and/or employees) sign off on the donation. The donation amount would be limited according to the number of people that agree to it.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @12:23PM (#33489234)

    This happened in history already almost 100 years ago. Wireless... free... the only difference, it was electrical power instead of internet. They tore down the Wardenclyffe tower because they couldn't meter the power usage. Meaning free wireless Power/Internet/ doesn't work... how did Radio get past that?? Oh ads...right.

    Wardenclyffe can be described as a power plant only if you consider the demands of a crystal radio set to be a practical demonstration of broadcast power.

    The Shoreham, L.I., tower was dynamited in 1917 - on the grounds that was altogether too useful a marker for U-Boats operating off-shore. Wardenclyffe Tower []

    In 1905 your basic electric appliance is the light bulb.

    There is nothing else you can buy - or at least nothing else that you can afford to buy - and your residential power demands are negligible.

    Which means that residential power sales are negligible and broadcast power becomes something very close to a product without a market.

    The farmer has his windmill and lead-acid batteries. The small town or factory a coal-fired plant of its own or hydroelectric power from Niagara.

    These prices are from the 1922 Sears Catalog of Electrical Goods, shown adjusted for inflation:

    Electric fan $10 ($127)
    Sewing machine $40 ($507)
    Vacuum cleaner $35 ($444)
    Wringer washing machine $99 ($1268)

    There is no electric stove in the catalog. No refrigerator.

    The electric era really begins with the 1930s. Not the twenties. Not thee tens.

    J. P. Morgan put about $150,000 ($3,000,000) of his own money into the 250 KW Wardenclyffe project - with nothing more to show for it than an unfinished building.

    No transmitter - and perhaps more importantly - no receivers.

  • by A nonymous Coward ( 7548 ) on Monday September 06, 2010 @12:41PM (#33489396)

    Did you RTFA? No, of course not. They claim they have a good business plan. What's more, it's none of your or the damned government's business to judge their business plan, it is their investors' money, and if they want to throw it away, it is, literally, THEIR business.

    And if you don't like watching ads, don't. But it's none of your business, again literally, if others do, or even whether others do.

  • Re:Free Internet! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @01:48PM (#33489974)

    I've got an idea. That senator of yours -- you know, that ol' boy that's been in there about 30 years -- get rid of him! Do a little homework on your candidates before penciling in the name you've seen on the most billboards.

  • by computererds ( 1613487 ) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @09:46PM (#33504708)
    AWS-3 is a 20mhz swath from 2155-2175 mhz. Compare that to 802.11. Each channel in 802.11 is alocated 22mhz.

    I think either you don't realize what was really being sold off, or you are misleading.

    Think about that-- less than one 802.11 wireless channel is what they would have gave up. Now that bandwidth does have a price if the FCC were to sell our bandwidth (yes our, it is the citizens spectrum) they estimate a sale at 2 billion. Do you think two billion is fair for a national broadband plan? How much do you think implementing a nationwide free wireless network should cost? How much commercial spectrum leasing can they do in that limited spectrum?

    AT&T, Nokia, T-Mobile, Verizon and several other wireless industry heavyweights aren't only against this M2Z plan, they are also against the open auction of the 2155-2175mhz band. They don't want competition, it's as simple as that.

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!