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Appeals Court Sides With FCC on M2Z Decision

A federal appeals court has upheld the FCC’s dismissal of M2Z Networks Inc.’s application to operate in the AWS-3 band of spectrum.

The FCC in late 2007 tossed out M2Z’s request, along with those of some other entities, saying the public interest would be better served through a rulemaking and by awarding licenses at auction.

M2Z wanted the FCC to let it operate in the 2155-2175MHz band for free, without a bidding process. The firm said it would provide some wireless broadband access at no charge, but generate money to share with the government through higher-quality service tiers.

But a number of parties took issue with the proposal; they said the FCC shouldn’t just give spectrum away to a private company asking to use.

According to law firm Bennet & Bennet, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the FCC’s dismissal of M2Z’s claims was warranted. The court said M2Z raised a number of creative arguments, but found none of them to have any “serious legal merit,” Bennet & Bennet wrote in a brief to clients.

M2Z is run and was founded by John Muleta, a former head of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

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