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Google gets open access wish

Things looked a little hairy headed into Thursday. The coveted C block — the one with the open access provision attached to it — had stalled on Wednesday. It was approaching the $4.6 billion reserve price, but hadn’t quite reached there. In fact, a few were wondering if it would be stuck at that level for quite some time. After all, AT&T and Verizon would love for the spectrum to be re-auctioned with fewer restrictions. But all of that was blown up yesterday, as one of the bidders upped the ante to $4.71 billion. Ladies and gentlemen, mission accomplished.

Of course, there’s a long way to go before we can realize the benefits of open access. first, those airwaves have to be turned into a network, whether that’s operated by Google or one of the existing carriers. Then, programmers and handset manufacturers have to be motivated to created programs and devices for use on the network.

So there will be no instant gratification. We’ll see results, but they’ll be down the road.

The question now is if Google will just drop out of the proceedings. They got their wish. If they were the ones who pushed the envelope, they’ll have to wait to be outbid. But that should come soon enough — and if it doesn’t, we’ll know who made the $4.71 billion bid.

Bids now total $15.6 billion, which is more than the government was expecting from this. So good job all around.

I do have one final question. How much does everyone else care about open access? I mean, I care because I’m sick of seeing press releases for new phones that have such similar functionality. I want to see something new, not just a new casing on an old phone. Does the average consumer — the average prepaid consumer, even — care about the ramifications of open access?

One Response

  1. Bidding slowing down on 700 MHz C block | Prepaid Reviews Says

    [...] last week, after speculation that the reserve might not be met, the 700 MHz spectrum C block hit its reserve price of $4.6 billion. Yes, the auction is still official. But since Friday, the bid has only reached $4.74 billion. [...]


    Posted on February 6th, 2008 at 9:31 am

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