TMCnet Contributing Writer
A recent national survey reveals that both Republicans and Democrats across the country believe that all Americans - especially low-income children - should have equal access to broadband Internet. M2Z Networks Inc. conducted the poll, which clearly shows that almost two-thirds of American citizens support the FCC’s (News
) leasing of spectrum to provide free wireless broadband across the United States.
John Muleta, chief executive officer of M2Z, in testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, outlined the following the key findings of the poll, which include:
--75 percent believe all Americans should have equal access to the Internet
--83 percent support a wireless backup system for public safety officers and first responders in emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina and the catastrophes of September 11, 2001
--69 percent agree high-speed Internet access is important to prepare children for future success in the evolving information economy
--70 percent agree broadband provided by cable and telephone companies is expensive and the providers are difficult to deal with
--74 percent agree it is important to provide broadband access to low-income children
--Close to 68 percent believe that cable and telephone companies do not do enough to provide broadband service to low-income and rural families
Muleta said “broadband availability for all U.S. citizens has been identified as a top priority by leaders in both parties, including President Bush, Speaker Pelosi, FCC Chairman Martin, and many of the distinguished members of the Subcommittee. I’m happy to report that M2Z has identified a path to reach that goal.”
Overall, 65 percent reacted positively to the FCC’s favourable review of providing free wireless broadband service nationwide - mirroring what M2Z has proposed in its application pending at the FCC.
M2Z's application seeks a 15 year renewable lease to operate nationwide on 20 MHz of currently underutilized spectrum in the 2155-2175 MHz band. Support for this was equally strong among respondents who consider themselves Democrats, Republicans and Independents in all parts of the country. In return, M2Z will build a wireless broadband network that will offer fast, free, family-friendly Internet access across the Unites States, accessible to at least 95 percent of Americans, and priority access to its network for public safety officials in times of emergency.
In return for the use of the spectrum, M2Z has also pledged to the U.S. Treasury that it will pay 5 percent of annual gross revenues from a subscription service that will offer wireless-broadband access over the same spectrum at even higher speeds.
M2Z's application for authorization from the FCC to construct the network has been pending for nearly a year.
However, there are some opponents of M2Z’s application, including the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, which represents incumbent licensees. They argue that the FCC should allocate spectrum only by auctioning it to the highest bidder.
Interestingly, the poll also reveals that 75 percent of Americans are more likely to support a member of Congress who favours the leasing of spectrum to provide free broadband service to consumers.
For more information on the poll, and M2Z Networks Inc., visit www.M2Znetworks.com
Calvin Azuri is a contributing writer for TMCnet.