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The Federal Communications Commission believes the 700 MHz spectrum could save the U.S. from broadband duopoly, but it's apprehensive about Google's wholesale requirements

In a congressional hearing on Tuesday, three out of the five FCC commissioners told lawmakers that they are supportive of the open-access standards as proposed by FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, according to Reuters. “A network more open to devices and applications can help ensure that the fruits of innovation on the edges of the network swiftly pass into the hands of consumers,” said Martin, speaking to the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.

Democratic commissioner John Adelstein specifically noted that an open-access approach “could open these key airwaves to badly needed competition in the broadband space.”

Republican commissioners Deborah Tate and Robert McDowell had not decided whether to support or oppose the standards, however McDowell expressed that he is leaning towards opposition.

Martin spoke to the subcommittee of a “third pipe,” expressing the necessity of an alternative to cable and DSL service for high-speed internet access into the home, particularly those who cannot be served with existing services like those living in the rural parts of America. “Depending on how the Commission structures the upcoming auction, we will either enable the emergence of a third broadband pipe -- one that would be available to rural as well as urban American -- or we will miss our biggest opportunity.”

The open-access proposal by Martin has garnered support by No. 1 wireless provider AT&T, which made a sudden reversal from the rest of the wireless industry, and was threatening litigation again open-access provisions in a time period as short as a few weeks ago. However, the plan is still opposed by No. 2 provider Verizon Wireless, and the rest of the wireless industry.

Less clear, however, is the commission’s support for Google’s vision of “open-access”, as outlined by a July 20 letter sent to FCC Chairman Martin by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, asking for “unwavering obligations to provide (1) open applications, (2) open devices, (3) open wholesale services, and (4) open network access.” 

Martin expressed reservations about Google’s proposal, which has been met with fierce criticism from the wireless industry. It’s a “giant scheme to have the 700MHz auction rigged with special conditions in its favor,” says CTIA president Steve Largent. U.S. Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich) stated, “the free market works best. And successful auctions work best without encumbrances."

Martin’s plan needs the support of a majority of the commissioners to get approval, and can be dropped off the agenda if it does not gain the necessary support. The FCC announced on Tuesday its intention to hold a commission meeting on July 31 to discuss service rules and determine the plan’s fate.



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Great
By James Holden on 7/26/2007 12:32:41 PM , Rating: 2
More power to Google.




RE: Great
By quiksilv3r on 7/26/2007 12:59:22 PM , Rating: 3
I'm all for Google on this one...


RE: Great
By Samus on 7/26/2007 3:29:20 PM , Rating: 5
Google just doesn't want to pay some rediculous fee to license something that they aren't likely going to profit on. Cellular technology is a cut-throat business that involves ripping your customers off as much as possible.

That's not in Google's business model.


RE: Great
By HVAC on 7/27/2007 11:47:39 AM , Rating: 2
Go Google.

If they weren't in on this I would consider the "third pipe" to be the connection to the bottom of the toilet in my house.

Given the state of broadband in the US, it seems like 700MHz service will be competing to decide where it falls in the following ranking:
1) Crappy
2) Crappier
3) Crappiest

Good job congress (and the FCC) for licking telecom and cable boots so heavily that your tongue is colored with bootblack.

Way to go telecom and cable for focusing so heavily on quarterly statements and competing only in the volume of marketing materials that the actual infrastructure and service offered makes congress look competent.


RE: Great
By Pythias on 7/26/2007 1:02:45 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah! Whoohoo! I wanna be censored like China! Gogo gadget Google!


RE: Great
By tehfire on 7/26/2007 1:30:06 PM , Rating: 5
I'm not a google fan by any means, but I think they get a really bad rap about everything in China.

At the end of the day, google is giving the Chinese people a service that they would otherwise not have access to. Yes, it's censored, but it's better than nothing.

Be mad at the censorship in China, but put the blame where it is deserved - on the Chinese government. Google doesn't want to censor, but if it's a choice between giving the Chinese people nothing and giving them as much as the Chinese gov't will allow, they choose to give them something.

Power to them.


RE: Great
By therealnickdanger on 7/26/2007 4:17:53 PM , Rating: 3
Google doesn't like to censor? You should check out all the videos that YouTube bans as "hate speech" that appear on LiveLeak.com.


RE: Great
By HotFoot on 7/26/2007 3:00:23 PM , Rating: 5
It's not like I agree with Google giving in to China's censorship requirements, but how many people that are giving Google a hard time are doing so on computers that were made in China's sweatshops? I'm not saying you in particular are doing this, but it seems to me that some issues are continuously swept under the rug in the name of cheap goods for consumers (and high profit margins for companies) while other issues are made examples of because you don't have to personally give anything up to put shame on Google for the way it conducts business.


About this pipe...
By novacthall on 7/26/2007 1:23:51 PM , Rating: 5
Will this truly be a pipe, or will it be more like a tube? As such, can we expect a series of these pipes?




RE: About this pipe...
By Etsp on 7/26/2007 1:32:59 PM , Rating: 4
if by "series of pipes" you mean "series of tubes" then, yes, yes you can expect that. =D


RE: About this pipe...
By vdig on 7/26/2007 1:35:59 PM , Rating: 5
A series of tubes, huh? I always thought that an internet is like a big truck where you can dump stuff onto. ;)


RE: About this pipe...
By Spyvie on 7/26/2007 1:45:57 PM , Rating: 2
Since this is wireless, it’s more like a beam or a ray, or a series of beams or rays, together they're a wonderful spectrum of helper beams and rays benevolently provided by Google.


RE: About this pipe...
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 2:17:16 PM , Rating: 3
The question is not pipe or tube.. the question is.. can you smoke it? *you guys wanna get high?* -- towlie


RE: About this pipe...
By Omega215D on 7/26/2007 11:08:16 PM , Rating: 2
Now you're telling me that the internet is a giant bong? Looks like the feds will be all over this one.


RE: About this pipe...
By Ringold on 7/27/2007 3:43:45 AM , Rating: 2
I dont know, lets ask Al Gore?


I hate the FCC
By Alexstarfire on 7/26/2007 1:25:10 PM , Rating: 3
Why do we have the FCC again? I know that they make sure that the same frequency isn't used by multiple people in the same place, basically so they don't overlap. Have they been saying we can't use the 700Mhz frequency or something.

Anyways, what about satellite. I was pretty sure that that can reach basically anywhere. It does have increased latency, but we already have hundreds of satellites in space already.




RE: I hate the FCC
By ElFenix on 7/26/2007 2:03:02 PM , Rating: 2
the spectrum being auctioned off is the analog tv band, which will not be used for tv after dtv becomes the standard.


RE: I hate the FCC
By Duraz0rz on 7/26/2007 2:13:21 PM , Rating: 2
Remember satellite internet? You still were required to have a dial-up modem for upload purposes; satellites were used for download purposes only. Plus, you had to have a clear line of sight to the south (aka no trees or whatever blocking the way).

The 700Mhz frequency is for analog TV, which is going to be unused after digital TV takes over.


RE: I hate the FCC
By HighWing on 7/26/2007 2:25:02 PM , Rating: 1
Speaking as a person who has satellite internet I can say it sucks big time and is a waste of money. About the only thing I can do better on it then dial-up is I can watch YouTube in real-time. But the cons are even worse then dial-up. Because of the high ping I can not game online or even log into secure websites. And loading webpages seems to take about the same speed as dial-up.

quote:
You still were required to have a dial-up modem for upload purposes; satellites were used for download purposes only.

Just as a point of ref, for the last few years the satellite DOES do both uploading and downloading. I have nothing connected to the phone line with my service.


RE: I hate the FCC
By Etsp on 7/26/2007 7:40:13 PM , Rating: 3
I happen to work tech support at a satellite internet company, and it is NEVER going to be meant for everyone to use. Ever.

Think about it like this, all geosynchronous satellites need to be at a specific height above the earth so that it's speed of orbit is the same as the rotation of the earth, as in, it has to stay at the same spot above the earth.

Most internet traffic utilizes acknowledgments, as in, a request for data is made, a part of the data is sent, the recipient sends back an acknowledgment stating that it received the packet in good condition (passed a CRC check to ensure it isn't corrupted) once this acknowledgment is received, it sends the next part of the data. So for each "packet" of data received, an acknowledgment must be sent back.

So, for example, a ping request is sent, the recipient receives this request, and acknowledges that it received it.
to do this on a satellite connection, this data must be sent up to the satellite, the satellite must send it back to earth to the ISP, the ISP transmits the data through a landline to the destination. That was one way, now the destination must send the reply and will usually follow a similar route, but will always go through the satellite connection.

This means that for a ping request, the signal needed to travel the distance from the earth to the satellite 4 times... and at the speed of light the time it takes to do that is a little bit over 1/2 of a second.

Secondly, the equipment is hellishly expensive.


Free and open access
By Screwballl on 7/26/2007 1:55:52 PM , Rating: 1
yay just what we need, free and open internet access across the nation... that way any hacker can connect and have free reign to wreak havoc anywhere they like.
If any company is going to implement this than they better also include security that records the IP used with the Mac address so that hackers and viruses and such can be blocked by Mac address thus preventing them from accessing the internet...

Of course there is major security concerns...




RE: Free and open access
By Duraz0rz on 7/26/2007 2:16:54 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe it's going to be necessarily open free-for-all internet access at all. It's going to be more along the lines of current ISPs where you still have to pay for access, but ISPs can't block access to that spectrum at all, whereas today ISPs can say that no one else can use their lines but them.

Basically, anyone can start up a service on the 700Mhz spectrum without worrying about lawsuits or whatever up the rear from someone else.


RE: Free and open access
By DallasTexas on 7/26/2007 2:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
You have no idea what this important topic is about. This is about allowing any type of device access the wireless network. Today, wireless devices are selectively provisioned by the wireless service provider at their whim. That is a bad, sunshine.

Basically, the types and capabilities of wireless devices we use today are limited and innovation poor because of the service providers strangle hold. Apple scored a coup with ATT that only Apple can do. Why your cable box is a piece of crap over the last decade is the equivalent of how the cable industry on provisions their own crap.


Open Internet
By jdroost on 7/27/2007 12:50:50 AM , Rating: 2
Open means 0pen..whether you use google..Apple..Rim..makes no diffence..You should be able to make calls and /or data anywhere in the US at high speed..and at the same $$..I don't care what phone you use..or what computer you use..All the rest is BS..In the US we are so behind the rest of the world..It is shamefull..




By horsecharles on 8/2/2007 4:41:02 AM , Rating: 2
Just like widespread + affordable utilities / necessities like mass transportation, water works, electricity, phone, gas, tv, etc. were essential to the development of our great country / economy--
all types of internet + phone broadband/cellular/wireless/voip/wimax/etc. also fall into that category.

There needs to be a concerted effort from the top, to do what's best for the country-- to put it in a path to regain lost technological world leadership: this would drive an economic upsurge to rival the one post-WWII.

Instead, the neocons have put too many barriers in place to do business-- from killing online daytrading & gambling, to placing such extreme barriers to banking & entry into this country for so many... to blocking stem cell research... to you name it.

And what they call fomenting business & technological develpment is kowtowing to the whim$ of big corporate... like in this case.

Sad to say, but the only fix may be a wartime situation that gives the sitting President extraordinary powers... of course, along with a true visionary leader in place at that time-- in order to get away from the gridlock-style of government: compromise-type legislation & directives yield results appealing to practically no one, just like in this case.




Rural areas?
By Bigginz on 7/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: Rural areas?
By Screwballl on 7/26/2007 2:04:52 PM , Rating: 1
So you're saying because cable TV is not available there they shouldn't have TVs? Many of them are happy with rabbit Ears because that is all that is available to them. I work for an ISP support desk and see that these people are happy with 56K being available, some areas don't even have local available dialup numbers... introducing wireless to these people will be a god send for many who have been left out of the technology revolution for so long...
I talk to plenty of people that have a laptop and go to town to use the free wireless


RE: Rural areas?
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 2:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
stupid comment, ever stop to think one has something to do with the other.. you know cause and effect? No point in having a computer with no internet access unless you use it specifically for work maybe?.

I know plenty of people living just outside the city limits who cant get cable because it would cost them thousands to have it wired to their house and they cant get dsl because they are too far away from a station.
In fact i have a friend inside the city whose property has a 500m driveway and the city would not let him wire the cable above ground, and it would have cost him thousands to get it wired underground.


RE: Rural areas?
By SirLucius on 7/26/2007 2:38:31 PM , Rating: 2
I was actually in that situation a few years ago. There was no DSL or cable line out in my family's area yet, and we live 10-15 minutes outside of Washington D.C. My dad had to pay the money to get a special cable line run out. Luckily he was able to write it off through his job, but it was still a pain. The same kind of thing is happening with FIOS now, although Verizon is much better about expanding the infastructure faster.


RE: Rural areas?
By Bioniccrackmonk on 7/26/2007 4:31:47 PM , Rating: 2
A 500m drive way in the city? I assume the m stands for meters, if so, then that is one hell of a driveway.


RE: Rural areas?
By Ringold on 7/27/2007 3:55:42 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Are we going to waste this important spectrum just so people in rural areas can have internet access? Most of them don't have computers to begin with.


Sorry if not everybody lives in Soviet-style apartment blocks located within 500 feet of all centrally located city ammenities.

I've got a proposition in on a home in Brown County, Indiana right now (between Nashville and Morgantown), and despite being somewhat in the middle of nowhere (30 minute driver to Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Columbus, all three very substantial towns, with Bloomington and Columbus being tech hubs), and nearly everybody around the particular lake the home is on has a computer. Given the lengthy discussion we all had about how our different brokerage websites handled complex trades, they seem versed enough. Yet the local phone company has been saying they'd get DSL in just a couple months for several years. There are people out in the rural areas (if you ever look at Google Earth at Indiana or look out the window of a plane you'll quickly realize that there's an amazing amount of people living in the middle of "nowhere"), and they deserve access as much as you do.

Not to mention this spectrum can provide competition to the high-brow intelligentsia who dare not lower themselves to leave their urban combine and their current broad-band duopoly, so you're just not forking over cash to us ignorant hillbillies that take pleasure in simple things -- like a view of something other than vast expanses of pavement; it would benefit everybody.


RE: Rural areas?
By Ringold on 7/27/2007 3:57:16 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, that got bumped to a 1 in the amount of time it took the page to reload and for me to scroll down to it. What, DT auto-detect a flame and down-mod? :) I can't flame even a troll?! You guys are no fun.


RE: Rural areas?
By Bigginz on 8/1/2007 3:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
OK, how did I go from rating of 2 to a -1 with one comment?? I was not trying to start a flame war.

I was just making a point that the percentage of people living in rural areas and that desire Internet access is pretty small compared to metropolitan areas. Not to mention rural residents that are willing to pay a few hundred dollars for a computer and a monthly fee for Internet access.


RE: Rural areas?
By DLeRium on 8/2/2007 11:27:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sorry if not everybody lives in Soviet-style apartment blocks located within 500 feet of all centrally located city ammenities.

I've got a proposition in on a home in Brown County, Indiana right now (between Nashville and Morgantown), and despite being somewhat in the middle of nowhere (30 minute driver to Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Columbus, all three very substantial towns, with Bloomington and Columbus being tech hubs), and nearly everybody around the particular lake the home is on has a computer. Given the lengthy discussion we all had about how our different brokerage websites handled complex trades, they seem versed enough. Yet the local phone company has been saying they'd get DSL in just a couple months for several years. There are people out in the rural areas (if you ever look at Google Earth at Indiana or look out the window of a plane you'll quickly realize that there's an amazing amount of people living in the middle of "nowhere"), and they deserve access as much as you do.

Not to mention this spectrum can provide competition to the high-brow intelligentsia who dare not lower themselves to leave their urban combine and their current broad-band duopoly, so you're just not forking over cash to us ignorant hillbillies that take pleasure in simple things -- like a view of something other than vast expanses of pavement; it would benefit everybody. quote>

Uhh we don't live in Soviet style apartments here in suburbs. If you sum up the people who live in urban and suburban areas you're dealing with 90% of the population. I may be closer to the hills and just out of reach of DSL but I still get Cable. I have friends who live in the hills in richer areas and while they have trouble getting pizza delivery, they still get cable service and cell service.

To tell me that DSL or Cable can't get to your area means you live in the middle of nowhere.

Watch. America will have a stupid 700 MHz frequency that does nothing. It's just like we have a stupid 850 band and because of it the wireless phone industry in the US is pathetic. It also explains why we have the crappiest phones in the world.


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