Politician's Spectrum Plan Sounds Mighty Familiar
from the m2z-in-the-house... dept
You may recall the well-hyped venture-backed startup named M2Z that wanted the FCC to hand over a segment of unused spectrum. Part of the plan was to offer a free ad-supported wireless service that would cover 95% of the country, that would be slow and “filtered” so that it was “family-friendly.” It would also offer a higher-level paid tier, as well as priority services for public safety uses. The kicker, though, was that M2Z hoped the FCC would hand over the segment of spectrum for free in exchange for a piece of the profits down the road. The FCC turned down the request, but apparently that’s not the last we’ve seen of it.
Congressional Representative Anna Eshoo has introduced a bill that would reserve the same slice of spectrum for a wireless service that would cover 95% of the country, that would have a free tier that was slower and filtered, as well as a higher-level premium tier, and which would offer priority services for public safety uses. The difference, though, is that it looks like this bill wouldn’t involve just handing spectrum over, but would include an auction component towards how that spectrum is used. While it does seem like M2Z is well meaning in its plans, it’s still hard to see why setting up all these rules makes sense. It still seems like it would make much more sense to create a much more open market system, to allow the spectrum to be put into the best use possible, rather than setting so many rules for each slice of spectrum.