Wireless Spectrum Auction Begins
An event years in the making finally began Thursday, when the Federal Communications Commission opened the bidding for pieces of the wireless spectrum. Google, Verizon and AT&T are expected to be among the bidders in the process, which is expected to last several months.
The spectrum being auctioned is currently being used for over-the-air television signals, which will be turned off in February of 2009 when the digital TV transition takes place.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the FCC confirmed recently that the largest part of the spectrum will be sold under the conditions that the winner maintain “open access” rules, meaning that they must create a cell phone network that allows users to buy phones anywhere and choose which provider they want. Verizon recently took steps towards “opening” its network, while Google has made moves towards entering the telecom sphere, with several partners. Google reportedly pushed for the conditions.