Google faces uphill fight for unlicensed white space plan

Google faces uphill fight for unlicensed white space plan

Summary: The government and private business are colluding to limit competition in wireless services, to keep prices high. High prices for service justify high prices for spectrum.

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TOPICS: Verizon, Google
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Google white space radio prototypeThe plans by Google (and others) to open up the old white space between TV channels for unlicensed use is wonderful, but it faces an uphill battle.

The reason is the fight Google walked away from, the 700 MHz auction Verizon won with a bid of $9.63 billion. (This is a prototype of Google's white space radio, from Michael Marcus' Spectrum Talk.)

Verizon doesn't have that much cash. To pay for its spectrum Verizon must borrow money. Before they lend it bankers (or investors) must be assured they will get a return.

But how can Verizon give that assurance if Google (and others) are allowed to offer essentially the same service for free?

Thus Verizon will argue that more unlicensed spectrum can't be opened up, just as it has fought expansion of WiFi. Without its monopoly, it can't justify its high bid for spectrum.

Ever since the Clinton Administration decided that spectrum should be sold, privatizing public property, this has been a quid pro quo.

The government and private business are colluding to limit competition in wireless services, to keep prices high. High prices for service justify high prices for spectrum.

This obvious conflict of interest reminds me of the unspoken racism Sen. Obama sought to address a few weeks ago. What we don't talk about remains true, and it poisons us all.

Until we can talk honestly about the impact of spectrum sales on spectrum policy, we can never create honest policies which regulate spectrum in the public interest.

Because the private interest will remain in the way.

Topics: Verizon, Google

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9 comments
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  • public interest

    everywhere there is money to be made, the big business will lobby to replace the public interest with their own.
    Linux Geek
  • RE: Google faces uphill fight for unlicensed white space plan

    What is this....regulation....of which you speak? I was taught that it is evil to have government interfere in the affairs of the free market. Gee....I suppose that monopoly is good. Let's all pitch in and help Verizon. They need us.

    Puhleezz
    nwoodson@...
  • RE: Google faces uphill fight for unlicensed white space plan

    Dear Author:
    No one walked away from anything. Google never wanted to win the auction. Google achieved its goal. Why are you so negative about the whole deal? I can bet you that Google Strategic Teams has very good vision for the future of the spectrum, and as long as there are players out there like G, good things can happen. What does racism have to do with the spectrum auction? Can we once and for all stop connecting ideas and concepts that don't have any common grounds like a political presidential campaign and a spectrum auction.
    hannahw
    • He is not negative about the whole deal, just

      negative about Verizon, period.

      I haven't seen an article by the author that doesn't paint Verizon (or cell companies in general) as a bunch of evil people out to steal the food off your table.
      John Zern
  • RE: Google faces uphill fight for unlicensed white space plan

    I Think with all the old technology out there with the CLEAR ability to disrupt or just plane wipe out the spectrum, i.e. CB/HAM radios, Verizon's in for a shock of reality concerning it's true practical value if they Anger consumers. lol.
    Nialfire
  • RE: "White Space" devices might electrically interfere with other uses

    There is a good likelihood that the devices proffered for the "unused" frequencies will clobber the licensed applications.

    OK, this is a really nerdy reference, but this is a really technical issue:

    http://www.tvtechnology.com/pages/s.0072/t.p0001.html

    Start with the article toward the bottom titled "White Spaces Are There For A Reason." and work your way up.

    (BTW Rhodes is not a Chicken Little bystander -- he is one of the architects of the new digital transition.
    OldZeb
  • RE: Google faces uphill fight for unlicensed white space plan

    Those are guard bands and no one will ever be allowed to use them.

    What we really need is a CB band for computers that no one owns and controls so we can create our own free over the air internet.
    tmaster@...
    • Can't happen....

      @tmaster

      "What we really need is a CB band for computers that no one owns and controls so we can create our own free over the air internet. "


      You said free......? What is this free of which you speak?
      nwoodson@...
      • Free as in public

        As in unlicensed. As in no cost for using the spectrum. Which was ours to begin with, before it was sold out from under us.
        DanaBlankenhorn