The FCC Tells Google (GOOG) To Go Home

July 24, 2007 by Douglas A. McIntyre

According to the FT, the chairman of the FCC has told Congress that he will not support Google’s (GOOG) proposal to open up part of the US wireless spectrum to make capacity available on a wholesale basis that would allow other carriers to use it. The FT wrote that: "Kevin Martin, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, indicated in hearings before a House subcommittee that he would not support the Google proposal."

Most other FCC commissioners said they would support the agency’s chairman. Reuters writes that: "Three of the five FCC commissioners told lawmakers at a congressional hearing they were in favor of a proposal that requires whomever wins the bidding for part of the airwaves to make them accessible to any device or software application." 

Google offered to make a major bid of at least $4.6 billion for licenses if the FCC would accept four conditions:

  • 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.
  • It would appear that it is dead now and Google will walk.

    Douglas A. McIntyre