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Arrington: The FCC Needs To Listen To Google (techcrunch.com)
12 points by pg on July 22, 2007 | hide | past | web | favorite | 4 comments

It's amazing that everyone I've talked to that knows about this is very excited about the possibilities. And yet, the effort to make things more open might fail. Astounding.

Efforts might fail if Google doesnt participate in the auction and the carriers buy the spectrum. Traditionally Google has had almost no lobbying power. Recently they've been trying but still do not have the political influence that the major carriers do, who will likely lobby the FCC away from accepting the rules that Google proposed. If this is the case and Google does not bid, it will be a big blow to the US wireless industry. The existing stronghold that the carriers have is choking competition and therefore innovation. Its really frustrating.

On the flip side though, if the FCC accepts the proposed rules and Google does bid and win, it could usher in a new era of opportunities for startups. I think the prospect of this is very exciting..

How much better would our society be if most of the frequencies were unowned and available for public use?

It depends--there's no good answer since it didn't happen, but regulation can be a good thing. It created incentives to build out the types of networks that require massive cap-ex (cellular, TV broadcast).

If no one built these in the first place, we wouldn't have anything to build "open access" on.

Regulation turns out to be a bad thing when it turns into a function of political favors vs. public interest.

As with most things in life, regulation is good in moderation.

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