That’s what Doc Searls calls M2Z, a proposed "third way" broadband network put together by some Silicon Valley venture capitalists. (That’s the obelisk-rocket from the movie Logan’s Run. Closest I could come, Doc.)
The proposal is that M2Z be given 20 MHz of soon-to-be-vacated spectrum, free for 15 years. It would promise to spend $400 million building out "free" (ad-supported) broadband, with a faster paid tier. It would also give 5% of its revenues back to the government.
What’s wrong with this? Some say nothing. GigaOM says the monopolists will never go for it. But there’s a better reason.
Why not just let this go unlicensed? Call it the "wireless data band." Set equipment requirements so as to minimize interference. Maybe even specify mesh technology. You will get a lot more than $400 million invested (the equipment guys will love this market), you’ll get to universal service a lot faster.
The only "problem" would be your Internet interconnect, your backhaul
costs. Right now that’s built into your ISP contract. With the wireless
data band, you need some other economic model to handle the backhaul. But given the actual
costs of fiber backhaul (near zero) this should not be a major problem.
The goal of any regulatory policy should be to encourage economic
growth, not to give the government money, not just to make a profit for
any particular player. Your problem is herewith solved.