|Google Likely to Bid in the 700-MHz Spectrum Auction|
In the US, government regulations will soon push UHF television out of the analog broadcast spectrum that they've been using. The FCC's follow-up - the 700-MHz-spectrum auction - is interesting in many ways, from the amount of money it may raise ($10 billion to $30 billion) to the potential for lowering our wireless bills. Especially interesting to webmasters is Google's involvement.
|...though the FCC did not grant all of the open access conditions companies like Google, Skype and others requested, it did mandate that some of the choicest spectrum be used by a carrier "as a network that is open to any devices and services... |
For proponents of an open mobile web, open-access spectrum could also spark a slew of new applications, which is precisely why Google's reported interest in the auction is something to watch closely. Indeed, there is at least a chance, remote as it may be, that the Mountain View company could become your next wireless-network provider.
|Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, confirmed his company will probably bid in the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction. |
Schmidt reportedly told audience members that because the FCC understood "…the spirit of what [Google] was asking for" in its recent open letter, and has mandated that the 700 MHz C Block spectrum winner will be required to have open-device access on their network, the company will likely join the bidding process this January.
This potential acquisition coupled with the Sprint/Google relationship may just be the push the wireless industry needs in the US.
It certainly seems to go beyond Google's mission statement of "organizing" the world's information.Of course, owning the way information moves can certainly help with the organization task.
|Of course, owning the way information moves can certainly help with the organization task. |
The access to tap wireless clickstreams should provide useful search quality metrics as well.
This spectrum would also be useful for bypassing the fixed pipelines into homes and businesses provided by the telecom carriers and cable TV carriers.
This would probably be a smart business move for Google, but it definitely takes them beyond their stated mission.
They certainly expanded their mission by acquiring "dark fiber" and by experimenting with free wi-fi as well. I guess this is something similar - but on a potentially much larger scale. Wonder what they've got in mind, you know? The spirit of this unspecified "open-device access" is intriguing. Maybe it's just a kind of hedge against unknown future uses of the Internet, but it wouldn't surprise me if the brain trust in Mountain View has something more specific in mind - maybe even a bunch of ideas.
|The spirit of this unspecified "open-device access" is intriguing. Maybe it's just a kind of hedge against unknown future uses of the Internet, but it wouldn't surprise me if the brain trust in Mountain View has something more specific in mind - maybe even a bunch of ideas. |
Picture this: a company like Siemens wins the auction and thereafter, only Siemens mobile devices can be connected to that frequency. Do you see the consequences of an access limited to specific devices?
The most funny thing from my viewpoint is that we have been quipping for a while about the fact that someday, they will sell us the air we breathe. And I never realize that air was already owned and is now about to be sold again to the highest bidder.
Amazing, Google is making a lot of moves this last 2 years, they were just in the news twice yesterday, once for its new street view, which has public privacy issues and for offering 30 million for first rover on the moon. I have the catapult, just need to borrow someones dog.
Looks like one of the big dogs is not happy with the "open access" rules that Google championed for this auction:
|Verizon Dumps on Open Access, Sues FCC |
Despite the conventional wisdom that carriers would avoid challenging the 700 MHz auction rules, Verizon Wireless confidently assumed the role of industry jerk earlier this week by asking the federal court to overturn the FCC's open-access rules calling them "arbitrary and capricious, unsupported by substantial evidence and otherwise contrary to law."
To be clear, Verizon has not sought a stay to prevent the auction from actually starting on Jan. 16, 2008. It apparently just wants the government (and everyone else) to know that competition won't be appreciated. This, in and of itself, is odd because the company, under anti-trust precedent, would not be able to even hold this yummy spectrum, according to Frontline Wireless.
Wired TechBiz [blog.wired.com]
So Wired isn't holding back with their opinion about Verizon here! The Verizon/Google battlelines are being drawn.
|Google's not too impressed, either. On the company's Public Policy Blog [googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com], Chris Sacca said "It's regrettable that Verizon has decided to use the court system to try to prevent consumers from having any choice of innovative services. Once again, it is American consumers who lose from these tactics." |