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Google steps in to offer an alternative for "losers" of the FCC Auction 73

Last week the FCC's auction for the 700 MHz wireless spectrum ended with more than just a winner. The spectrum auction ended with bids totaling $19.592 billion.

Google's failure to win any of the spectrum surprised few analysts, at least compared to the company's ulterior motive of keeping the C-block of the 700 MHz spectrum open.  Even though the company lost its bid on the C-block, the company successfully lobbied for open access terms, meaning its future devices will work with the spectrum even if the user must pay an access fee.

Google is now moving on to the second item on its laundry list: "white space" between over-the-air digital television channels.

There are a number of heavy-handed tech companies, appropriately called the White Spaces Coalition, working together to deregulate and open access to new spectrums for wireless communication.  This includes Google, Microsoft, HP, Dell, Philips, Earthlink, Samsung and a few others who prefer to remain anonymous.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates personally petitioned to Congress for open access to these spectrums, traditionally used as padding between regulated radio signal blocks.

Google has announced a working model to deregulate the white space spectrums, which it will pitch to the FCC.

The designated white space falls between channels 2-51 within the radio frequencies currently used for analog and digital over-the-air television. Since there is a good amount of unused space on this part of the spectrum, specifically between 54 MHz and 698 MHz, White Spaces Coalition members propose this could instead be allocated for high speed broadband.

Google claims it developed technologies that will help the broadband internet access industry utilize these frequencies for high-speed internet services without interfering with devices such as wireless microphones and any other devices operating within that spectrum.

Of the 1040 licenses of the 700 MHz spectrum sold in FCC Auction 73, 69% went to companies planning to create broadband and wireless alternatives to existing infrastructure. 

No public member of the White Spaces Coalition won any of the Auction 73 spectrums, though members like Google were known to have bid. 

Google has petitioned American companies that it will provide schematics and information for those interested in freeing of the white space frequencies.

Unfortunately for Google and its friends, such call-to-arms may fall upon deaf ears.   Aside from the fact that the White Spaces Coalition consists of Auction 73 losers, a recent report alleges severe micromanagement at the FCC, which specifically details the futility of media reform lobbies


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RE: Where does it go?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 3/25/2008 3:29:08 PM , Rating: 2
It gets earmarked backed into the FCC, which in turn goes to covering funding and special projects. I believe the lion's share of the Auction 73 earnings will go to informing the public about the DTV transition.


RE: Where does it go?
By eman7613 on 3/25/2008 3:54:50 PM , Rating: 2
I was under the impression that the bulk of that had already been funded by comcast, including the coupon program?


RE: Where does it go?
By roadrun777 on 3/25/2008 9:27:11 PM , Rating: 1
I have serious doubts that it would cost billions to inform the public of digital tv transition.

If it does cost that much you can guarantee that the FCC will start a company up and back charge itself enormous amounts of money to do things that would normally cost a few hundred thousand, not billions.

Anyone remember those 2000$ hammers the space program bought?

You can bet that the money will disappear somewhere in a mound of complicated paperwork, and then be shredded right before a public investigation.


RE: Where does it go?
By JustTom on 3/26/2008 1:13:45 AM , Rating: 6
quote:
It gets earmarked backed into the FCC, which in turn goes to covering funding and special projects.


That would be wrong, the FY FCC budget is about $300M far less than $19B. The proceeds go to the US treasury.

The budget for DTV outreach is miniscule,it will be somewhere between $1.9M and $20M for FY2008 (Bush is pushing for the higher figure).

All this information is readily available from the FCC or the US congress.


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