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Google Pledging to Bid $4.6bn to Open Spectrum 99

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the monies-and-mouths dept.
csuftech writes "According to an article posted on vnunet, Google is pledging to bid at least $4.6bn for the FCC's upcoming auction of the 700MHz spectrum. However, Google would only be willing to pay said amount if the FCC agreed to a few conditions, namely, 'the wireless spectrum would allow consumers to download and use any software apps and content they want; allow handhelds to be used with any carrier; enable resellers to acquire wireless services at wholesale costs; and mandate that third parties such as ISPs interconnect at any point on the 700 megahertz band.' All this was disclosed in a letter [PDF] to FCC president Kevin Martin written by Google CEO Eric Schmidt."
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Google Pledging to Bid $4.6bn to Open Spectrum

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  • Familiar (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:55PM (#19962223)
    Er, haven't I seen this somewhere before [slashdot.org]?
  • by cromar (1103585) on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:55PM (#19962225)
    I do appreciate them fucking up the corporate status quo. This debacle is getting very interesting.
    • by kaiser423 (828989) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:04PM (#19962331)
      John Walls, vice president of public affairs at the CTIA, said that the pledge re-affirms his organisation's belief that the proposed deal smacks of foul play.

      "The letter highlights Google's scheme to have the auction rigged with special conditions in its favour," he told vnunet.com.

      "Nobody should be able to buy a custom-fit government regulation tailored to their business plan."


      Yea, this reminds me of the guy form "Thank You For Smoking"

      That has to be one of the most blatantly false statements that I've heard in a while. Wow. I guess this really is rocking the boat, and has a couple of carriers pretty scared.

      Kudos to google, way to not be evil!
      • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:20PM (#19962539) Journal

        "Nobody should be able to buy a custom-fit government regulation tailored to their business plan."
        Well, that is technically what they're trying to do.

        The fact that /. likes the terms Google is trying to impose does nothing to change the fact that they're buying government regulation.

        Is it really that hard to imagine a situation where the regulations go in a different direction?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dgatwood (11270)

          Yes. It's pretty hard to imagine the FCC making any decision that doesn't involve the public getting screwed. History has taught us that they will accept restraints on freedom with alacrity, but will release those restraints only under force of law.

          I'd love it if Google won this battle, but I'd just about place bets against it.

        • by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:36PM (#19962703)
          I think there are two points here:

          1) The requirement that the highest bidder open part of their spectrum is not part of Google's business plan beyond the fact the open access is good for the net in general. That's why the claim is false.

          2) Almost all of the tariffs in telco land are custom-fit goverment regulation tailored to their business plans. That makes the claim very hypocritical.
        • by kaiser423 (828989) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:45PM (#19962789)
          My point being that what the CTIA is advocating is that the people whom buy the spectrum get to implement their business plan, and theirs only. Hence, they would also be buying a custom-fit business plan with regulation.

          Second, it is not custom-fit to Google. It's a generic fit for a large number of people. There are plenty of other business plans that Google could implement that would be much less free, and would be a "custom-fit," such as requiring everything that any user or piece of software does be able to be indexed by Google.
          • by TopSpin (753) * on Monday July 23, 2007 @08:01PM (#19963609) Journal

            Hence, they would also...
            Opps.

            Second, it is not custom-fit to Google.
            It is, but it also happens to align with consumers. Companies like Apple and AT&T dream of leveraging exclusive products/services like iPhone into 'revenue sharing' arrangements with content providers like Google. Google is attempting to make that dream impossible. It goes directly to Google's business model.

            • by TubeSteak (669689)

              Google is attempting to make that dream impossible. It goes directly to Google's business model.

              Your comment goes to the heart of the matter.
              The GP claims that "It's a generic fit for a large number of people."
              What he seems to be forgetting is that Google is not going to buy up all the spectrum across the country.

              Their $4.6 B bid isn't just buying them 1/6th of the country, it's also going to get them access @ wholesale cost to the other 5/6ths.

              And that is actually worth a lot more than $4.6 billion.

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by kaiser423 (828989)
              What do you mean "Oops"?

              My initial post was about how hypocritical it was for the CTIA spokesperson to make that statement, and act like Google was doing something new, drastic, and evil, when in reality the people he represents would take the same steps that he so vigorously condemns.

              I never said anything about this not fitting in with Google's business plan, or that they were being altruistic. Just that it seems like their plans are shaking things up a bit and scaring some of the typical teleco's.
        • by daigu (111684) on Monday July 23, 2007 @08:23PM (#19963811) Journal
          While I agree with the initial comment, the reality is that the process for formulating regulations gives businesses a great deal of input and effectively makes most regulations custom-fit for the industries involved. The only real difference here is that Google is challenging the existing custom fit model with another - one that is more congruent with the public interest.

          Sure, it would be better if the regulations were primarily concerned with the public interest, but if we don't have that, this is certainly a better alternative than how it would have played out had Google not gotten involved.
        • by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000 AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday July 23, 2007 @09:18PM (#19964229)

          The fact that /. likes the terms Google is trying to impose does nothing to change the fact that they're buying government regulation.

          Google's plans for access to the airwaves is less of a regulation than regulating who can determine who and what can access the airwaves. These telcom insiders only want to prevent competition, whereas Google wants to introduce competition.

          Falcon
          • by Yfrwlf (998822)
            Google isn't just being a saint, either, and fighting for our rights, which apparently are at the mercy of corporations with lots of money (fun!). Google's business strategy is breaking up the current monopolistic industries as a whole so that it can compete in all those markets with it's own software. The current industries are far bigger than Google in the U.S., so they could never get into those markets unless they use their growing financial weight against them to allow some real competition.

            Sure, Go
            • Google isn't just being a saint, either, and fighting for our rights, which apparently are at the mercy of corporations with lots of money (fun!). Google's business strategy is breaking up the current monopolistic industries as a whole so that it can compete in all those markets with it's own software.

              Oh, I agree. Google is a business not a charity. However they are pressing for an open market against the incumbents businesses, which benefits the population. Just because an entity makes profit doesn't

              • by Yfrwlf (998822)

                Oh, I agree. Google is a business not a charity. However they are pressing for an open market against the incumbents businesses, which benefits the population. Just because an entity makes profit doesn't mean it's bad. Google got big in part because it gave searchers relevant search results as well as "do no evil". However with new leadership Google can turn out the same as other businesses. If they do though another startup can just step up and do the same. Such as "Jimbo" Jimmy Wales from the wikipedia, he's working on a collaberative search engine.

                Yesh, that was what I was trying to say, was that they have done and are doing a lot of good, even though getting money is high on their agenda. They still put many consumer-friendly and anti-monopolistic ideals ahead of a lot of other things.

                Thanks for the info about Jimbo, I wasn't aware of it and am very happy that someone is working on such a project. I remember when Wikipedia started out as this strange project on the net which many thought seemed like a silly idea. Collecting information?

                • It was disappointing when Ask bought out Teoma, that was a good search engine.

                  Yea, I used to use Teoma a lot, when I didn't get a result or not what I was looking for from Google. Another I use a lot also is Mooter [mooter.com]. Alta Vista still returns good text search results, though I don't use it much. Another I use, for specific searchs, is About. Actually it was Google that led me to using About. I googled for some archeology and anthropology searchs and Google returned About's Archeology and anthropology [about.com]

        • The point is that if it isn't Google, it is Verizon or AT&T. Somebody will buy this spectrum.
        • Yeah the carriers have already bought a custom-fit government regulations, they paid good money for all this government protection. Who is google to change that?
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by TopSpin (753) *

        Nobody should be able to buy a custom-fit government regulation tailored to their business plan.

        That has to be one of the most blatantly false statements that I've heard in a while.

        What, precisely, makes the statement false?

        Just because Google's ambition happens to align with desires of the common consumer doesn't make the statement false. Google is attempting to use money to influence a regulatory body in its favor. Google would love to establish a precedent for their model. The benefits to Google are obvious.

        Don't discard reason by denying the truth of the assertion. Instead, rationalize your wishes like so:

        Dear CTIA,

        Someone you don't own can now afford to compete with your bribes to obtain regulatory favor.

        Enjoy!

      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        Nobody should have to propose the government to pay them more in order to improve their regulations. After all that's why taxes are supposed to be for.
      • by anothy (83176)
        this is especially amusing since we're talking about CTIA here. the organization only exists to get legislation and regulation custom-tailored to the business interests of their members. they're like the GSMA in that regard, but without any technical work.
    • They're only "fucking up the corporate status quo" because they're not in on this as a corporation yet. What will happen once they do snag a plurality, if not a majority, of the 700 MHz spectrum? Who's to say they're not just posturing in the name of "freedom" now and won't do something horribly evil once they get their piece of the pie? In the best-case scenario all they're doing is making the 700 MHz spectrum safe for themselves at no expense to the common person...I don't want to think about the worst.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by thegnu (557446)

        Who's to say they're not just posturing in the name of "freedom" now and won't do something horribly evil once they get their piece of the pie?

        Yeah, I've been saying that for years. Then I finally stopped, because it's been, up to this point, like waiting for the apocalypse: every few years, people start screaming about the end of times, then nothing happens, and people are quiet for a little while.

        When the hell is it going to happen? I've been waiting for it to happen for a long time. I'm sure someday i

        • by Vancorps (746090) on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:18PM (#19963181)

          You make a fine point but in addition opinions and controls over Google today don't have to be the same tomorrow. If they turn evil then we have some measured control we can exert. How effectively we exert it is a different question but theoretically they couldn't start dumping toxic waste into Seaworld so there is no point in fearing the impending apocalypse which involves my porn viewing habits being leaked to the press because I opposed legislation that Google later wanted. So far they seem to want to play nice. I say encourage this corporate attitude, embrace it! Ben and Jerry's was quite successful while holding onto corporate ethics, I see no reason why Google couldn't do the same thing.

          The particular language Google wants added seems counter to their interests but creates a free market where you compete on quality of service which sounds good to me and sounds good for them given the nature of their products. It adds risk to the process but Google is acting as if it has nothing to fear from a little friendly competition and in reality, they don't. If only the big telecoms of the world would see this as a good thing. Unlike Sprint buying sprectrum and not even using it thus preventing others from using it.

  • +1 karma (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xeth (614132) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:01PM (#19962287) Journal
    I guess this balances out the "Don't be Evil" scale a bit in their favor, eh?

    To preclude those decrying false philanthropy, yes, of course Google will benefit. There is, however, such a thing as a mutually beneficial agreement. And this really looks very nice from where I'm standing

    • by db32 (862117)
      How dare you speak of good business practices in this day and age of immediate quarterly gains! I really just don't know if the business folks in charge these days are that stupid, that they just don't understand what they were taught in economics (yes, modern business classes actually do teach how things can and should work out for everyones benefit like a nice and pretty capitolist economy should), or if it is just because so many current business "leaders" got there by inheretence, marraige, or purchase
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by LWATCDR (28044)
      Censoring free speech sites in China vs Cheap wireless broadband in the US.
      Sorry for me that just doesn't cut it. I am not saying that Google is evil incarnate but judging them by their ideal of "Don't be Evil" I just can not equate the two.
      On the plus side they haven't turned in any Bloggers I know of to the Chinese government.

      • Re:+1 karma (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ajs (35943) <ajs@ a j s . com> on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:56PM (#19962921) Homepage Journal

        Censoring free speech sites in China vs Cheap wireless broadband in the US.
        Actually, they don't Censor free speech sites in China.

        In fact that statement doesn't even scan.

        There are no free speech sites in China. There is no free speech in China.

        Google can't censor someone's site.

        What Google does is restricts their search results as per the guidelines of the Chinese government. They could have decided that the search results were too important to censor, but had they done that, the only difference would be that Google wouldn't be available at all in China. They're doing much more good by offering some service in China than they would be by offering none. If they had a better negotiating position, then I'd agree with you, but they literally had none.
        • by madsenj37 (612413)
          Google probably does more good than harm with this, but their mission statement is not about doing good. It is not about having a positive net impact. It is about doing no evil.
          • Re:+1 karma (Score:4, Insightful)

            by earnest murderer (888716) on Monday July 23, 2007 @09:32PM (#19964319)
            It's not even a mission statement. It's a cute quip that got bandied about and became an "informal corporate motto".

            Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. [google.com] Access to the 700 mhz spectrum is key to their ends. If they do not acquire it either outright or by leasing it from a third party, they will have failed in a major way. The argument for the rule change is insurance against that failure.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by ajs (35943)

              It's not even a mission statement. It's a cute quip that got bandied about and became an "informal corporate motto".

              If you're talking about the "don't be evil" line, then you're deeply wrong. That phrase has tremendous legal importance to Google because it appears in their S1. An S1 (AKA a "red herring") is the document you file with the SEC that tells investors what your company does and what risks it takes. If you say, "we sell bottled water, but only to the criminally insane," in your S1, then your investors know up-front what business they're getting into, and have no grounds to complain when you don't make as much

          • by Temporal (96070)

            Google probably does more good than harm with this, but their mission statement is not about doing good. It is not about having a positive net impact. It is about doing no evil.

            The motto is not "Do no evil". It's "Don't be evil".

        • AAMOF, if I have a site and you know the URL, we can keep using the site without it being indexed on Google. If Google indexed it and the government found it, we'd be in shitloads of trouble if the government was using force to shut down sites like it.

          While Google not indexing these things might keep word about pro-freedom sites from getting to the people so quickly, it's also going to make it harder for the government to find them in order to shut them down.
          • by Temporal (96070)
            There are plenty of ways to tell Google not to index your site. robots.txt, meta noindex, etc.
        • by LnxAddct (679316)
          Don't forget to mention that when certain results are not shown, Google clearly states this on the page more or less saying "Hey, you're government is screwing you."
          Regards,
          Steve
        • IT seems to me that Google IS supporting the Chinese government's internet CENSORSHIP.

          The Chinese government controls the routers and IP traffic thereby keeping people from reaching the sites they find objectionable. Google keeps people from finding out about the existence of those sites by striking them from their search engine results. Last time I checked, aiding and abetting was a crime in this country.

          What does no evil mean to you?

          God's busy right now. Can I help you? {-: Muahahahaha!!!!

          • by gronofer (838299)

            The Chinese government controls the routers and IP traffic thereby keeping people from reaching the sites they find objectionable. Google keeps people from finding out about the existence of those sites by striking them from their search engine results. Last time I checked, aiding and abetting was a crime in this country.

            When you say "this country", I assume you are not referring to China? The Chinese government would hardly make it a crime to aid and abet the Chinese government. I can't off-hand think o

            • True enough... Google has a choice to contend with. Whether it is nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous opportunity, or take arms against the sea of trouble and thereby miss out on maximization of share holder value. Legal != Evil
          • by ajs (35943)

            Last time I checked, aiding and abetting was a crime in this country.

            1. Don't be hyperbolic. Limiting search results is not a crime in the U.S. (though it might expose you to civil suits)
            2. This country's laws have no bearing on what the Chinese government does. If they did, then Cisco and Yahoo would be out millions, perhaps even billions of dollars.
            3. Google's choice was not to display all results or just some. It was to provide search in China or not. There was no option that involved showing the Chinese people the results that you (and I) might have wanted them to see. None
            • I believe my hyperbole is matched only by your whitewash. You are correct, of course, in that there has been no crime committed in the sense no Chinese law was broken. However, there are U.S. laws broken by Google, Yahoo and Cisco regarding bribery. They are not out the millions of which you speak because those laws are difficult to enforce, even when the IRS has direct evidence. All that aside, aiding a repressive government is at best questionable and at worst wrong in every sense I was taught.

              I'm

    • I mentioned this on my blog [bfccomputing.com] on Friday - when Dr. Ron Paul was at Google [youtube.com] he said that the spectrum should just be auctioned off to the highest bidder and let the Free Market sort it out. I don't think all the folks in the room at Google thought that was the right answer at the time, but it's good to see the decision makers at Google have taken that kind of advice to heart and applied Corporate Good to the equation.

      Just because it goes to the high bidder doesn't necessarily mean that it has to be Verizon or
  • is it not a bad idea to tell people how much you willing to bid in an upcoming auction?
    • RTFL (Score:5, Insightful)

      by conspirator57 (1123519) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:07PM (#19962377)
      It says a *minimum* of $4.6b. This is the reserve price of the spectrum. In fact there's a nice jab at the industry protectionism that brought about the reserve. Google is just saying that they're willing to ante up. Were there to be other bids, there is still ample room left in the letter for Google to bid.
      • by Gazzonyx (982402)
        True. I think that, along with the mutual benefit thing (unfortunately of late I've become rather neutral on google, so I would love to be pleasantly surprised), this is also just good tactics. They're holding all the aces, and they know it.

        They've probably got a bit of good exposure, and managed to weed out the companies who would flirt around the issue without ever throwing their hat into the ring, so to speak. The bar has been set at $4.6B, and that's going to be the admission price to play with th

        • Yes, to be sure, there are some conditions in their letter that have dependencies: what relative use is the ability to put whatever device(phone, network adapter, etc.) on any vendor's network if there's only one network to choose from because the auction winner was not required to wholesale to other providers? Yes, you still get your Linux PDA on there, but you're still paying $$$ and getting your non-Brittany-Spears-of-the-week-video traffic slowed down to accommodate the vapid teenybopper who paid extra
    • by vertinox (846076) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:44PM (#19962787)
      Google: I'm going to bid $4.6 billion dollars tomorrow at tomorrows auction.

      ATT: Cool... (Crap! I know we can't beat them with cash reserves so I'll bid high and force them to spend their fortune for it!)

      *The very next day*

      Auctioneer: Here we are with a block of airwaves. Starting bid.... One billion dollars....

      ATT: $10 BILLION DOLLARS!!

      Auctioneer: $10 billion is the current bid. Do I hear $11 billion dollars... Going once...

      Google: *yawns*

      Auctioneer: Going twice...

      ATT: Hey wait a minute!

      Auctioneer: Going three times! Sold to the gentleman from ATT for $10 billion dollars.

      ATT: But! But! But!

      Google: Hey ATT if you don't want those airwaves, give us call us after the opening bell after your quarterly reports and we'll talk.
  • by the.nourse.god (972290) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:05PM (#19962343) Homepage
    With 2 seconds left in the auction, AT&T puts in a $4,600,000,001 bid.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MonGuSE (798397)
      Ebay cancels auction due to a DMCA takedown notice. AT&T already owns the patent on monopolistic intervention.

      Seriously though the Google proposal is the only one that actually creates a level playing field for any concerned service providers. The problem the other companies have is that it allows for other companies to compete with them instead of granting them government approved monopolies. I hope the FCC wakes up and sees Google's proposal for what it is a sensible solution for all parties concerned
  • Google won't bid if evil business models are allowed, so I guess they are tacitly admitting that their open access business model has no hope of competing against the telcos' "lock 'em in, and then lock 'em in some more" business model. It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out.
    • by Dun Malg (230075)

      Google won't bid if evil business models are allowed, so I guess they are tacitly admitting that their open access business model has no hope of competing against the telcos' "lock 'em in, and then lock 'em in some more" business model. It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out.

      No, you've got it exactly wrong. What they're saying is that their open access model can compete effectively against the locked-in model. The problem is that there currently isn't any spectrum available for open access. They are requesting that this change.

      • The problem is that there currently isn't any spectrum available for open access.

        No, if Google buys some 700MHz spectrum in the auction they can set the rules for that spectrum to open access.
    • I think it's more fundamental; google is trying to commoditize access routes to their services. This is just a step in that direction. By decreasing costs of accessing their stuff, they're increasing the value of their services.
      • by mdmkolbe (944892)
        I think you hit the nail on the head. Until I saw this news item, I had never realized how brilliant Google's business model is.

        It is in the service provider's (AT&T, etc.) best interest to charge you as much as they can for as little service as possible. The final content provider's (Slashdot, etc.) only get revenue if they can convince you to go to their site instead of other sites. But Google doesn't have to compete; they get payed more when more people go more places (and thus see more ads) regar
      • by grumling (94709)
        You're right, and don't forget that Verizon Wireless, which (depending on who you talk to) is the largest carrier in the US, puts custom software on their phones (BREW) that is the same as, but not compatible with, Java. That means no Google maps, no stand-alone Gmail, no Google home page, etc. The main reason VZW does this is to extort money from providers (just like non-net neutrality). Google is just hoping to keep their mobile business model.
    • by RCourtney (973307)
      http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2007/07/res toring-competitive-balance-to.html [blogspot.com]

      This is a link to an entry in Google's Public Policy blog explaining their answer to the "put up or shut up" comment from AT&T. It also explains quite nicely how the auction is slanted from the beginning to favor the incumbents.
  • Don't get it (Score:2, Interesting)

    If Google wins the auction, why would they need the Government to makes some rules about who can access it? If Google owns the spectrum, don't -they- get to set the rules?
    • Re:Don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

      by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:30PM (#19962651) Homepage
      There will probably be multiple winners, and Google wants the government to set the terms for all of the winners, including Google's competitors.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mr_matticus (928346)
      Google won't own the spectrum. They'll own the government license for the spectrum. They're still publicly owned airwaves, just privately operated.
    • If Google wins the auction, why would they need the Government to makes some rules about who can access it?


      There won't be just one winner of the auction. Google is saying they'll bid only if the rules are that every winner must provide certain types of open access. They are basically attacking the premise that not requiring open access serves the public interest, at a minimum, by increasing the willingness of purchasers to bid for the spectrum.

  • It looks from the summary that the is FCC selling all of the 700MHz band to a single bidder. Why don't they sell geographical junks of it? It's very hard for a monopoly to arise on a limited resource because the price of each additional unit goes up as you are trying to bid for the next on. What the FCC is doing here is
    a) stealing the resource (the FCC don't own the band, they're not selling it they are holding it hostage for a ransom)
    b) selling it as a whole, making it possible for a inefficient monopoly t
    • Re:Single buyer ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kaiser423 (828989) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:49PM (#19962841)
      Because it would drastically lower how valuable the spectrum is. If your service can't be "country-wide", then it's not of much value.

      I wouldn't buy a cell phone that works in San Fran but not in New York.

      In fact, you'd have a hard time getting me to buy ANYTHING that doesn't work country-wide, and I imagine that a lot of people feel the same.

      Not to mention all the technical issues with interference near the boundaries, etc. It would just be a total mess for no verifiable gain, especially since there are a large number of frequencies which can do nearly the same things (though not identical) which renders your monopoly argument moot.
  • Excellent quotes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jonniesmokes (323978) on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:50PM (#19963487)
    -- begin excerpt --

    The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) has dismissed Martin's plan as "Silicon Valley welfare", claiming that it gives Google an unfair advantage.

    John Walls, vice president of public affairs at the CTIA, said that the pledge re-affirms his organisation's belief that the proposed deal smacks of foul play.

    "The letter highlights Google's scheme to have the auction rigged with special conditions in its favour," he told vnunet.com.

    "Nobody should be able to buy a custom-fit government regulation tailored to their business plan."

    -- end excerpt --

    I think John Walls might want to add, "except Baby Bells of course." Its so not fair when a brand new billion dollar company gets into your game.
    • Google's "business plan" sounds eerily similar to a free market. What is so unfair about allowing customers to demand and purchase content, handsets, and service according to their desire and needs instead of the suppliers locking them into a technologies and services that they control with an iron fist? GSM and OMA technology boasts of interoperability yet in American carriers cripple the technologies to maximize the profits of their own service offerings.
    • by anothy (83176)
      Walls (really CTIA corporately) doesn't particularly care whether they're Bells (baby or Ma) or not, as long as they're CTIA members. they're a membership organization explicitly aimed at getting legislation and regulations put in place to favor their members (which are heavily dominated by folks with a CDMA and AMPS legacy). the CTIA's a dominant force in north america; in europe, you get the GSMA playing the same role. i've been at events where GSMA reps told their members about all the wonderful legislat
  • Not just Google (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Darth Cider (320236) on Monday July 23, 2007 @08:13PM (#19963719)
    Google is putting up money, but its proposal to the FCC is backed by Intel, Yahoo!, eBay, Skype, DirecTV, EchoStar, and Access Spectrum (which constitute The Coalition for 4G in America), but there are many other groups also in favor of open access. See this write-up on Daily Wireless [dailywireless.org] for a good overview, and read Google's own explanation [blogspot.com] on its Public Policy Blog.

    I wish Slashdot paid more attention to wireless goings-on. For instance, just this week, Sprint announced it is forming a 20 year alliance with Clearwire. The two companies are rolling out WiMax phone and broadband services, and together spent billions to control spectrum that reaches nearly everyone in the U.S. Wouldn't it be nice if they had to lower their price to consumers because of open-access competition in the 700mhz band?

    Robert X. Cringely's latest article is a good read, too. "When Elephants Dance: Get ready (finally) for faster Internet speeds at lower prices" [pbs.org]

    I live in a rural place that is lucky to have one broadband provider, a cable company. (Nope, no DSL.) If open access succeeds, small wireless ISPs will sprout up in places like this, which big companies always seem to neglect. Those ISPs would be paying wholesale prices for their spectrum, too, so regional monopolies like my cable company will finally face some pressure to lower their prices, or else to compete on speed and service.
  • We've seen this before.

    Is there any word on whether the FCC is going to go for it?
  • WE WANT THE AIRWAVES

    nine to five and five to nine
    ain't gonna take it, it's our time
    we want the world and we want it now
    we're gonna take it anyhow

    we want the airwaves
    we want the airwaves
    we want the airwaves baby
    if rock is gonna stay alive

    oh yeah
    well all right
    let's rock tonite
    all night

    where's your guts and will to survive
    and don't you wanna keep rock & roll music alive
    mr. Programmer, I got my hammer
    and I'm gonna smash my, smash my radio

    we want the airwaves
    we want the airwaves
    we want the airwaves baby
    if ro
  • Can someone please explain to me not only how Google makes money, but makes THAT much money that they can spend 4.6bn on various things like this? (I'm serious, this isn't rhetorical or sarcastic -- either something doesn't add up, or my perception of how much money can be made from tiny little advertisements on web pages is WAYYYY out of whack)
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by RudeIota (1131331)
      Advertising. Google has been generating (very roughly) around $2,500,000,000+ in revenue each quarter and clears well over a 500,000,000. Most of this is generated through ads. Their Ad-sense program accounts for nearly half of all profit made by Google. The rest is 'site' revenues, which could be any number of things, but I'm sure ads play an important role here as well.
    • by gronofer (838299)
      Presumably they would borrow it, or issue some new stock.
    • As someone who owns Google stock, let me explain how they make money:

      Ads. If you read their K-1 filing, you'll see that their only real expenses are people, servers, and real estate for people and servers. They make money hand over fist. Check out their cash flow.

    • they sell YOUR personal information to targeted advertisers.
  • Screw Google and all that "allowing people to have a choice" crap. I want a world where government controls all the frequencies, Kenneth! I am absolutely upset that a company is buying my freedoms out of the hands of politicians. Those bastards! Those a-holes want to buy from the government the ability for me - ME! - the ability to use software, hardware and services - at f-ing wholesale prices!! Can you believe that socialist pig crap! Why... the whole f-ing internet could fart without paying a tax o
  • Interestingly there was an article today in the largest newspaper of Finland about a recently launched service that uses the 450 mhz ex-NMT network as a wireless broadband (it's been on-line since April). Initial costs for the devices (modem and antenna if needed etc) are a little below 400 euros, and monthly fee is 38 euros at the moment (1-1,5 MB down / 300-600 KB up)... The service should cover the whole country by 2009. The network is being maintained by government owned / private company, which rents c
    • I'd like to see some US cities do this, like LA, then a state, like Calif, and eventually expand the model country-wide. That's where we are going anyway, it looks like, except for really heavy needs where fiber is still necessary, such as trunk lines.

Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman

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