FCC 700 MHz Spectrum Auction Starts Today
3:45 PM PST - UPDATE 2: At the end of round 2 we're up to $2,778,684,800!
11:30 AM PST - UPDATE 1: Round 2 of the bidding process is beginning.
As of 9:30 am, the first round of bidding had ended and there was one bid of... wait for it...
$2,425,201,500! 2.4 billion! Not sure who placed the bid though.
Google, Verizon, and 214 'qualified bidders' are gunning it out for ownership of the coveted 700 Mhz spectrum, which could completely change the telecommunications game in the US, as the FCC has mandated that the spectrum must maintain some kind of 'open-ness'.
Google's view (from Ars Technica):
The four conditions outlined by Google in its letter announcing its intent to bid would go a long way towards ensuring that the freed-up spectrum fulfills its potential as a "third broadband pipe." Under a truly open network, consumers would be able to use any application on any device that they want. Also, winning bidders would be forced to license their spectrum at wholesale prices, which would keep one or two companies from gobbling up all the spectrum and limiting competitor (or even customer access to it). Lastly, ISPs would be able to interconnect freely to the 700MHz network at any technically feasible point.
Verizon's view (also from Ars Technica):
Incumbent wireless providers like Verizon have been critical of calls for an open network. In its PolicyBlog, Verizon has called the open access proposals a case of "imposition of regulatory judgments and intervention in the markets." Instead, telecoms would like to see the FCC take a hands-off approach similar to the one it has taken with cable and DSL when it comes to the 700MHz spectrum.
In other words: "Open networks are non-monetizing and therefore, Un-American! USA! USA!"
Anyway, should be an interesting showdown! Who are you rooting for?
I say we all pool our money together and go for it ourselves. NowPublic Network!