M2Z Networks, which asked the Federal Communications Commission last May for 25 megahertz of vacant spectrum to offer free wireless broadband service, announced it plans to ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Court to force the commission to make a decision on M2Z's request.
M2Z, formed by former FCC Wireless Bureau chief John Muleta, plans to seek a Writ of Mandamus from the DC court that will direct the FCC to come into immediate compliance with Section 7 of the Telecommunications Act, which M2Z says requires the FCC to make a decision on its request within one year. M2Z says its application has been pending for more than 15 months
According to Section 7 of the Telecommunications Act, "[t]he Commission shall determine whether any new technology or service proposed in a petition or application is in the public interest within one year after such petition or application is filed." The statute also requires that parties who oppose a new technology or service "shall have the burden to demonstrate that such proposal is inconsistent with the public interest."
According to a Dow Jones report, Muleta said his company was informed last week by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's office that he had circulated a plan with four other commissioners to deny M2Z's plan.
M2Z wants to use 25 megahertz of vacant spectrum in the 2155 to 2175 MHz band to provide free wireless broadband service to 95 percent of the U.S. population within 10 years. In return, M2Z would give 5 percent of revenues from the network back to the U.S. Treasury.