|Free U.S. Wireless Ain't Dead - M2Z is Baaack!|
|Written by Dave Burstein|
|Saturday, 17 July 2010 23:26|
John Doerr and Milo Medin visited the FCC 13 July with a crazy plan. They would provide 768K wireless free across 95% of the U.S.. Even with a good deal on the spectrum, it will require investing $5-7B before breakeven. Or maybe it's not so crazy. Doerr is a legend who was the money behind Google, Amazon, Compaq and a dozen others while Milo built most of the cable networks in the U.S. as CTO of @Home. The audience included the Chairman and six chiefs. Julius is taking this seriously, and Doerr is confident they have the cash needed. There's essentially no downside to Julius saying yes except the predictably violent opposition of the incumbents, but they are screwing him so many ways he might just go ahead.
Doerr's partners include Al Gore as well as Republicans Colin Powell and Tom Perkins. The Senate is pressing Julius hard because he's not doing enough on affordability. This wouldn't have much impact until 2015 or so, but is a partial answer at the very low end.
They are looking for the 2155-2175 AWS-3 spectrum. That 20 MHz is as much as Verizon is devoting to a worldclass LTE network, although at the higher frequencies far more towers would be needed to match VZ. The business plan begins with selling at market rates the higher speeds and probably voice. Doerr is on the board of Google, so they've presumably have thought through the advertising. Google put $3.5B on the line for spectrum in the hope of breaking the wireless cartel and has advanced $billions to win ad contracts from AOL and others. With over $20B on Google's balance sheet, they are a natural source of financing.
They promise to reach 50% of the country by 2016 and 95% by 2021. The technology will presumably be LTE, for which inexpensive gear should be widely available in 2013-2015.
They would require radios on 3,000-10,000 towers in 2016 and can plan the build for where towers and backhaul are available at competitive prices. They also will have a natural partner if Harbinger makes it. Some think that a long shot, but Phil Falcone just filed for a $400M debt offering for Harbinger.
Especially because Doerr is one of Obama's most important supporters and active in the White House.
Here's the filing
On July 13, 2010, John Doerr, Milo Medin, John Muleta, Kevin Lo and Alix Burns, on
behalf of M2Z Networks, met with Chairman Julius Genachowski, Edward Lazarus, Rick
Kaplan, Bruce Gottlieb, Sharon Gillett, Julius Knapp, Stuart Benjamin, John Leibovitz, Zachary Katz, Evan Kwerel, Blaise Scinto, Peter Daronco, and Jonathan Baker. The participants discussed M2Z's proposal for service and auction rules for AWS-3. Specifically, M2Z explained how build-out requirements for both availability (to 95% of the US population) and affordability (a free basic 768kbps wireless broadband service) would be transformative to U.S. in terms of new jobs, growth and innovation. Attached are the handouts that were discussed and distributed at the meeting.
Uzoma C. Onyeije
cc: Chairman Julius Genachowski, Edward Lazarus, Rick Kaplan, Bruce Gottlieb,
Sharon Gillett, Julius Knapp, Stuart Benjamin, John Leibovitz, Zachary Katz,
Evan Kwerel, Blaise Scinto, Peter Daronco, Jonathan Baker
M2Z / FCC Meeting 1 Pager: July 13, 2010
Proposed Rules for the AWS-3 Auction:
! Build-out requirements using two population based threshold obligations:
o Network construction requirement on the licensee to build a
broadband network that covers 95% of the US population within 10
years and with an intermediate milestone of 50% of the US
population within 5 years.
o A requirement on the licensee to construct this network with the
capability of providing a free basic broadband service at 768 Kbps to
20 million subscribers by the end of the same 10 year period, prorata
with the intermediate milestones.
! Nationwide spectrum license with technical flexibility
o Out-of-band emissions (OOBE) to 43+10log(P) – consistent w/FCC
! Open Access, Open Devices Requirement on AWS-3 (700MHz “C” Block)
! Low minimum opening bid or reserve price of $0.005 per MHz-pop
o Examples: lower 700Mhz (2002), 1.4Ghz (2007), residual 2.5Ghz
! Eligibility requirements: AWS-3 be licensed for a new nationwide entrant
o All existing commercial wireless licensees be excluded from
participating in the auction (to prevent bidding based on “foreclosure
! Timing: Auction in 1H 2011 per NBP (or sooner)
! US will be the first country in the world to provide guaranteed availability of
basic broadband service to its citizens.
! Creating a new nationwide broadband competitor.
! A transformative network enabling a new generation of innovative
applications, devices and accessibility.