Google Taking Interest in Wireless Spectrum

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.

(See full articles here, here, here and here.) 

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