Google's been eyeing the upcoming auction for the 700MHz spectrum and involving itself heavily in the public debate over broadband. It seems their intent with the spectrum is to become a wholesaler of wireless access across the nation, letting companies bid against each other for the right to use the network in various markets in an AdWords-like auction. If this goes in conjunction with proposals that any network built on top of the frequency remain vendor-neutral, we may very well see Google becoming not just the gatekeeper of search but the gatekeeper of almost all wholesale wireless signals in the US.
Is this is a good thing? On the one hand, a vendor-neutral wholesaler that builds and operates the plant encourages retailer competition, a system not unlike UTOPIA or iProvo. On the other hand, there are legitimate worries that Google could end up controlling too much of our digital lives with a potential to erode privacy. Only time will tell if Google will jump into this market and if they'll manage it in a way favorable to broadband competition.