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HEWAC Throws Support Behind M2Z Networks

The Higher Education Wireless Access Consortium has recently thrown its support behind the M2Z Network's license application to the FCC. M2Z networks have been working on using radio airwaves to provide a national wireless Internet free to consumers. The proposal is for M2Z to forgo the normal auction for radio waves and instead to pay the national treasury 5 percent of revenues every year for 15 years. The estimated total of the 5 percent would equal more than $1 billion over the allocated time span.

“Although most of Washington's attention has been focused on the upcoming 700 MHz auction, now a 10-year process running, we're excited about the immediate opportunity at the FCC to approve M2Z's license and create a true 'third pipe' for broadband services,” said Brian Christie, senior vice president of HEWAC, in a prepared statement. “If approved, M2Z Networks will lease fallow spectrum at 2155-2175 MHz and deploy  a free nationwide wireless broadband network.”

With the 20 MHz, the company plans to develop a broadband network that will provide for 95 percent of the population in the next 10 years.

The higher education delegation that represents more than 400 universities and 860 community colleges, see the national wireless network as a way to reduce the costs associated with education and provide a more equal playing field to lower-income students and families, according to the HEWAC.

“If granted the license to proceed, the M2Z Networks service will help the nation's community colleges which annually train more than ten million students – many with lower income, minority and from rural areas--to better reach their students both on and off campus,” said Gerardo E. de los Santos, president and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College and delegation member.

Opponents of the proposal, mostly free market advocates, include the Wireless Communications Association International, that filed a petition against the M2Z proposal saying that forgoing the auction process gives M2Z an unfair advantage over any other company interested in creating a national broadband network.

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