Can Google change telecommunications?

22 August 2007

A few months ago, Google petitioned the FCC to adopt an 'open license' scheme, the four components of which were "open applications, open devices, open services, and open networks".

"In short, when Americans can use the software and handsets of their choice, over open and competitive networks, they win," Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in a new letter to the FCC on Friday.

In return for these provisions, Google indicated that they'd be willing to spend up to 4.6 billion to acquire rights over some of the UHF spectrum that will be made available as analog television broadcasting ceases in the United States.

These provisions were strongly opposed by other bidders for the spectrum, which are mostly telecommunications companies who have built a business out of absolute control over the types of services made available. They implied that this might disincline them to bid top dollar for the spectrum. This may or may not have had an effect on the FCC, which chose not to give Google all that they wanted.

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