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Despite unfavorable rules, Google still plans to bid on spectrum

You have to hand it to the guys at Google. Where many people would have backed out because of rulings that favor large telecommunications companies, they still plan to forge ahead with their bid on the 700 MHz spectrum auction. This is a boon for consumers, as Google is one of the very few corporations that truly wants to utilize the open-access spectrum, which was mandated by the FCC for 22 megahertz. They might be the only serious bidder beyond the big telecoms that has a shot at that area of the spectrum.

During a keynote speech in Aspen, Google CEO Eric Schmidt made a valid point about the state of the wireless industry.

In his comments, he reiterated that the decade-old hands-off government policy toward the Internet — such as no sales tax — had allowed the Internet to grow exponentially.

This means no government scrutiny of what is said on the Web, universal broadband access to speed up the Internet and “net neutrality,” essentially an assurance that no government or single company will control what goes on the Internet.

Unfortunately, a select few companies are controlling what goes on with our mobile voice and data access. This causes all sorts of crazy regulations like locked phones, inaccessible phone features, and two-year contracts. No such regulations exist on the Internet; you’d think that it would serve as a model of success. But since the telecoms already have the power in hand, it’s not like they’re going to simply hand it over because another business model might will work better.

The news of Google staying in the auction, though, is relieving. We just hope they’re not in it to intentionally lose and send a message to America about the relentless power of the telecoms. What a colossal waste that would be.

[Reuters]