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Uncategorized - Written by on Friday, July 20, 2007 16:52 - 0 Comments

Paul Artiuch
Google fighting the good battle for openness

An interesting battle is taking place in the seemingly boring area of broadband wireless spectrum auctions.  Broadband spectrum, which carries voice and data to mobile devices, is leased from the government to wireless service providers.  Traditionally these have been telecommunications companies, such as Verizon and AT&T, who build the infrastructure to deliver wireless services.  The telecommunications companies would have near full control over their networks, being able to dictate the kinds of handsets, applications and software that worked with their system.

But the rules may change with the upcoming auction which is set to take place in the near future.  Google, which is looking to enter the wireless market, has proposed four rules that would open up the access to the networks allowing more competition.  The new rules would allow consumers to download any content or application and utilize any handset or wireless device they wish.  Google also proposes that third parties should be able to buy access to the spectrum at a reasonable price and that different networks will be able to interconnect.

If all four rules take effect, the business models of telecommunications companies will be severely affected by the new competition.  It is likely that customers would win as new entrants, including Google, create innovative services and prices are driven.  It will be up to the FCC to decide whether the benefits to consumers warrant a more open approach.

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