20 thoughts on “Web Giants Team Up for Wireless Spectrum Auctions”

  1. Om,
    Link posted about this announcement at Verizon’s PolicyBlog earlier this week — and addresses its impact on NN, too.

    Link concludes his post: “Whether any of these projects work out in the rough and tumble of the market, they clearly provide further evidence that the broadband market is competitive . . . and make it even more apparent that net neutrality regulation is a solution in search of a problem.”

    For the whole post: http://policyblog.verizon.com/policyblog/blogs/policyblog/linkhoewing9/247/competition-in-broadband-more-evidence.aspx

  2. Anyone wanting to know something about the use of wireless for broadband should have a good look at this report commissioned by our good friends of Ofcom in the UK.

    There is no way one can do real proper broadband in the 700Mhz spectrum. Not even with the whole 60Mhz chunk! Basically it comes down to simpe math. You can do about 2 bits on Herz. 60 million herz equals 120mbit/s. However this is a shared medium and you need channels for up and down. So even if you factor in all kind of cool technical tricks, you’re still stuck with a maximum of 10mbit/s down for 10 households with 2mbit/s up. Just how close do you really want to bring that fibre to the curb. The costs of roll out of a network build in this way are probably higher than that of AT&T’s U-verse offer, which can work over 500 yards and is able to serve alot more houses with one drop point. This might be an interesting technology for use with mobile wireless technology, but one still needs a whole lot of antenna’s, much along the same lines as HSDPA.
    http://www.ofcom.org.uk/research/technology/overview/ese/lastmile/ With a tip of the hat to Bill St. Arnaud for pointing me to the report http://billstarnaud.blogspot.com/ And to anyone shouting that developments in technology will save us: Have a good look at the work of Claude Shannon. it’s like saying you can break the speed of light 🙂

  3. And I used to think air was free… Maybe if pollution increases there will be a surcharge to breathe. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google “has a say” in how other public policies are designed/implemented.

  4. The Content Providers need the last mile to remain viable (profitable) and they have 2 ways to gain access to the end user.
    1. Wired Access in a partnership with the local Service Provider (Telco or MSO). This could be very profitable for both parties and I think the googles and Yahoos of the world would find a willing party in the 1200 plus Independant Telco who own much of the national last mile.
    2. Wireless Access in a partnership with CellCo or purchase their own Spectrum and contract with local entities to install, operate and maintain this network.

    If the FCC sets up the auction and requires a Regional (SE) bid it will effectively limit who can bid (Big boys only) vs opening it up to Local market coverage.

    The likes of Google already own the Nationwide Backbone (Fiber) and Internet Access piece as well as all the Content so all they need to rule this end to end network is a partnership with the locals. RBOC/Independants and or MSO.


  5. So Google et al. are going to lobby, but what is their position? That telcos shouldn’t be allowed to bid? The article is frustratingly vague on this point.

  6. The application providers should stick to their knitting. Things need to change, but these guys are generating “content” on the whitespace debate, not new engineering ideas.

    For example – “The 700 MHz slice of the spectrum is apparently pretty good to offer broadband, since it can penetrate walls and other obstacles.” – this is simply not true. UHF is refracted less by water than higher frequencies, so it is less effected by the moisture in foliage. This is why it is better for ota tv and broadband delivery.

    It is often worse at getting in to the home, especially at short distances, because TV wavelenghts can be wider than metal windows or the new studs used in walls, which block the rf in the same way the mesh on the glass on a microwave stop you from being cooked in your kitchen.

  7. It seems to me like content providers would be wise to support the Frontline proposal given their ambitions. Have they made any strides in this direction other than the coalition for 4G in America?

  8. The fact is, open source internet, coast-to-coast will be a breath of fresh air. The reason google is wanting to do this, is because there is a HUGE market that is being squandered and ruined by telecom giants.
    Have you ever TRIED the wireless internet provided on most phones? It is piecemeal SHIT. They show 0 net neutrality, and prevent people from accessing google’s content. THIS is google’s beef, people CAN’T, on the current system, access their content because the telecom giants do not want them to. These giants are PERFECTLY happy keeping their ‘competition’ so long as it allows them to offer you tight contracts and force you to use THEIR content. 5 dollar ring tones? FUCK THAT. I can get the song for 99 cents on iTunes–on my PC that is, and if google wins the bid, so too on my phone.

    Furthermore, the argument that ‘competition’ would disappear is CRAZY. Basically, the telecom industry is arguing from the broken window fallacy as pointed out by the French economist Frederic Bastiat–a broken window is NOT good, even though it forces people to put more money in the economy. This is because that money would go ELSEWHERE–if the money isn’t being spent on shitty telecom services, it could be spent on OTHER things. Thus, competition for competition’s sake is ridiculous and doesn’t help anyone. The competition would simply shift to another sector (perhaps creation of new phones that don’t use awful proprietary tech?)

    Also, most people seem to forget what this might offer for cell users. MORE MONEY IN YOUR POCKETS. VOIP as used in many home phones is very, very cheap. There is NO reason why we couldn’t use VOIP on next-generation phones on an open-content wireless network. Cheap, international, unlimited calling–sign me the fuck up.

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