updated 03:50 pm EDT, Wed July 25, 2007
FCC vs. Google
During hearings for the forthcoming auction of the 700MHz spectrum, members of the Federal Communications Commission have expressed doubts about Google's prerequisites for bidding. While Google is in favor of totally open access, with numerous network operators leasing at wholesale prices, FCC chairman Kevin Martin is backing a split plan in which at least 22 of the 60 new bands would have an open-access requirement, and there would be no provisions for network neutrality or wholesaling.
Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, two Democratic members of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, are also promoting some form of open access in the 700MHz range. It would "open these key airwaves to badly needed competition in the broadband space," Adelstein says. Republican members Deborah Tate and Robert McDowell, meanwhile, have yet to express an opinion.
The greatest opposition to Google has so far come from the existing telecom industry, with the CTIA describing Google's plans as a "giant scheme to have the 700MHz auction rigged with special conditions in its favor." Verizon Wireless says it is critical of any "regulatory judgments and intervention in the markets." [via Ars Technica]