[CWN-Summit] Thoughts about the current FCC auction of 700MHz band?

Sascha Meinrath sascha at aya.yale.edu
Thu Jan 31 14:59:08 CST 2008

Hi all,

ben wrote:
> Does anyone here follow the current FCC auction of the 700Hz band, with 
> thoughts of what it may portend for next generation community Wifi in 
> the US?
> Google, in particular, made a stipulation for open access to the C block 
> of the 700MHz band if they bid at the reserve price, and the FCC 
> obliged.  There is, of course speculation, about what the winning bidder 
> would actually do with this stipulation, but it's definitely interesting 
> to watch.
> Cf.
> http://mobile.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/01/31/1411259

Greetings from DC.  I follow the auction daily -- currently, minute-by-minute 
(you can find out how on my blog).  The reserve price has indeed been met (as of 
earlier this afternoon).  I can also answer questions if folks have any.  In 
terms of what the auction means -- lots depends on who wins the auction.  At a 
minimum, it will ensure interconnectivity of a wide range of new devices; 
however, lots will be determined by how open the winner actually is and how 
willing the FCC is to ensure that the spirit of the open platform conditions is 
met.  Also, for the record, Google was late to the game on open platform 
conditions -- the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition was asking for this way 
before Google (Google just had the ability to say, "hey, we'll bid 4.6 billion 
if no one else will" ;).  The PISC should be publicly releasing a statement 
momentarily -- I'll put it up on my blog when it goes out.  In other news -- 
NTIA released a major report today claiming that the US has accomplished 
President Bush's goal of universal affordable broadband.  More on "Mission 
Accomplished II" once I get a chance to finish reading the (amazingly 
ridiculous) report.


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