Larry’s Already Got ‘PageRank,’ Eric. It’s Only Fair We Call the Wireless Network 'SergeyCom'
Google is prepared to bid at least $4.6 billion for wireless licenses in the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming spectrum auction–but only if the FCC agrees to adopt the four license conditions the company has been lobbying for:
- Open applications: Consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content or services they desire;
- Open devices: Consumers should be able to utilize a handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer;
- Open services: Third parties (resellers) should be able to acquire wireless services from a 700 MHz licensee on a wholesale basis, based on reasonably nondiscriminatory commercial terms; and
- Open networks: Third parties (like Internet service providers) should be able to interconnect at any technically feasible point in a 700 MHz licensee’s wireless network.
As Chris Sacca, head of Google’s wireless initiatives, notes over at Google’s Policy Blog, “all four of these conditions adopted together would promote a spirit of openness and could spur additional forms of competition from Web-based entities, such as software-applications providers, content providers, handset-makers and ISPs. The big winners? Consumers.”
And don’t forget Google, which sure as Shinola will use that “spirit of openness” to make its applications and AdWords even more ubiquitous than they are now. And that’s the subtext here, isn’t it? Because what Google’s attempting to buy here isn’t necessarily a wireless network, but the assurance that it will be open regardless of who wins the FCC auction. And that’s sure to come in handy whenever the company gets around to finally launching the GPhone and whatever 3G home-base station technology that inspired its investment, rumored to be a significant one, in femtocell start-up Ubiquisys.