updated 10:40 am EDT, Tue May 1, 2012
Google patent for data network control by auction
The USPTO has awarded Google a patent relating to wireless data network management through ongoing real-time auctions. Participating devices would bid against each other for access to the network, forcing power users to pay more.
A central auctioneer would receive requests for network access and be responsible for allocating bandwidth. If it is a low traffic period or a request for low bandwidth usage, the auctioneer would give transmit rights to a handset at low or no cost. Peak times would force devices to bid against each other with the auctioneer permitting the highest paying users transmit rights first, followed by the next highest bidders.
Users would be forced to choose between paying for immediate data access or waiting for cheaper access periods to occur later in the day, with high bandwidth customers facing a tradeoff between a high bill and restricting themselves to off-peak times.
Google made a bid in the FCC auction for the 700MHz spectrum in 2007, but failed to secure any of the available blocks.