M2Z Broadband Challenge
On June 6, 2007, M2Z launched the “M2Z Broadband Challenge,” a nationwide grant program to provide broadband modems so America’s under-served communities may connect to M2Z’s planned free, fast, and family-friendly wireless broadband service. M2Z has pledged to match up to $10 million in funds raised by non-profit organizations. M2Z’s inaugural partner for the launch of the Challenge is the not-for-profit One Economy Corporation and the first matching funds will be made available in North Carolina’s Bertie County.
|M2Z Broadband Challenge Launch (Video: 2:54)
Community and civic leaders from Raleigh, Windsor, and Bertie County, North Carolina kick off the nationwide M2Z Broadband Challenge.
|Bertie Country Video Petition to the FCC (Video: 6:00)
In July 2007, the people of Bertie County, North Carolina held a Tech Jamboree and created a video petition to the FCC requesting they approve M2Z’s application. The challenges in connecting to broadband faced by the people of Bertie County are symbolic of those faced by rural communities all across America.
In Bertie County, N.C., a significant number of families and institutions are without access to high-speed Internet today. To help bridge America’s broadband divide, the M2Z Broadband Challenge will partner with non-profit organizations like One Economy to help raise funds from the private and public sectors to distribute modem devices for M2Z’s planned network. Modems will be distributed to underserved schools, libraries, youth centers, and lower income families. At the launch of the Challenge were Bertie County Commission Vice Chair Lewis (LC) Hoggard, Windsor, N.C. Mayor Bob Spivey, Former Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer and other civic and community leaders. Nationwide, 58 percent of American homes – about 120 million adults – have either dial-up connections or no Internet connection at all, while 56 percent of primarily Hispanic and 53 percent of primarily African American elementary and nursery school students lack Internet access.
M2Z Networks currently has an application pending before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to lease 20MHz of fallow spectrum to build a nationwide network which will offer a free, fast, and family friendly broadband to 95 percent of the U.S. population. The service will also shield children from accessing indecent content. If licensed, M2Z would pay the U.S. Treasury 5 percent of annual gross revenues from its subscription services, which could total payments of up to $1 billion over 15 years. The introduction of M2Z’s broadband service would generate $18 to $32 billion in direct consumer benefits over the next 15 years according to two uncontested economic studies.
M2Z CEO, John Muleta, addresses community and civic leaders in Raleigh, N.C. at the launch of the Broadband Challenge.