Google may get its open-access wishes after all; will bid in 700MHz auction
Straight from Ars Technica: “The search giant has just announced its plans to enter the 700MHz spectrum auction in January, potentially paving the way for a transformation of the US wireless space. In a statement, a Google spokesperson told Ars, “Our goal is to make sure that American consumers have more choices in an open and competitive wireless world. FCC rules require us to reveal our plans by December 3, and we fully intend to do so. In the meantime, we are making all the necessary preparations to become an applicant to bid in the auction.”
Coupled with the company’s recent launch of Android and formation of the Open Handset Alliance, the announcement is certain to ignite a new round of frenzied speculation about just what, exactly, the Big G would do with a nationwide swath of 700MHz spectrum.
Conventional wisdom has had it that Google has no interest in actually becoming a network provider, what with all the hassles from those grubby customers who can’t make feature X work on Y handset. And then there’s billing and engineering and marketing and local storefronts and all the rest of it that makes up a modern wireless carrier’s operations.
But if Google is truly serious about the four open access provisions it pushed at the FCC earlier this year, that may not be the company’s plan at all. One of those provisions would have forced any winning bidder on the spectrum to lease network access at wholesale rates to others, thus paving the way for a host of innovative wireless providers who could not afford to build a national infrastructure themselves. The FCC rejected that provision, but there’s nothing keeping Google from supporting the idea itself.”