Random Thoughts

August 1, 2007

History in the Making – 700MHz is not going to be open after all

Filed under: Cool Stuff — doctorfeelgood @ 7:53 am

Google asked the FCC to completely open the 700 MHz spectrum so we the consumer could have high-speed internet on phones/laptops/car computers and true competition i.e. crush Verizon/AT&T/Sprint monopolies. The FCC caved to the lobbyists and huge mega-corporations for the most part. This is historic. Like when AT&T was broken up. Like when the internet was designed and built. This event will be a milestone in the history of wireless communications and why we are still behind Europe and Japan when it comes to wireless communications. Keeping the mega-corps in charge means that it will still cost $$ for data plans and no unlimited data/minutes for less than $$$$$$$. Crap.


Also, more from Boing Boing

The FCC released the auction rules on the 700 MHz spectrum today. Google formally requested (and we supported) that the new bandwidth have four requirements: open applications, open devices, open services and open networks. Together these rules could quickly make the U.S. wireless space competitive with European and Asian markets that we have long trailed.

The auction rules include much of what Google requested, including open devices and open applications. But open services and open networks are out, meaning third parties may not get access to the networks at fair wholesale rates. Will we see a tidal wave of innovation in the space? It’s too early to tell. The FCC hedged its bets to keep AT&T, Verizon and other incumbents happy. New players like Google may or may not participate.

This is clearly a compromise decision. History will decide if the FCC commissioners made the right choices. Perhaps their feeble attempts to stand up to AT&T, Verizon and their army of lobbyists will have been enough to get the U.S. back in the race with the rest of the mobile world. Or perhaps not. Just for record keeping purposes, Kevin Martin (Chairman) and commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps are willing to fight for openness. Commissioners Deborah Taylor Tate and Robert McDowell, who are parroting much of the nonsense that AT&T spewed last week, are clearly lining up with the incumbents.


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