Saturday, January 08, 2011

FCC Continues to Ride Google's Ideas

Yesterday at CES, I was excited to sit in on the session with FCC Chairman Genakowski to see what he had to say about the past, present, and future of all things policy and FCC. I had no real preconceived notions about what we would hear, but I was curious if there would be talk about the recent passage of the Open Internet rules and some of the criticism they have received.

While Chairman Genakowski didn't touch too much on the recent rules, he did look to the future and some initiatives that the FCC is going to work hard toward in the near future. One of the major pushes Genakowski is concentrating on are what he termed "voluntary incentive auctions". The premise of these auctions is to allow broadcasters the ability to auction off some of their unused spectrum while they are not using it and would receive compensation for the amounts they give up. Think an on-demand commodity market for spectrum where it could be bought and sold when needs demanded for some and supply was abundant for others.

As I was listening, I kept having this nagging feeling that I had heard this before .. Then it dawned on me, this idea was the very same idea I had heard said by Google's Larry Page several yeas ago a a Google Talk in DC. I went back and looked through the archives of my posts and foundwhat I was looking for a post from May of 2008:

Something else that I thought was conceptually a pretty revolutionary idea by Larry, was a suggestion to totally revamp the spectrum bidding process. As it is right now, companies that get these spectrums, do so for a very very lenghty amount of time. Larry stated that spectrum should be auctioned off, almost down to the minute, as carriers had the need. Almost a stock exchange for spectrum.

It seems that the FCC has become a clearinghouse to push through ideas of industry partners like Google and Verizon, evidence this market idea and the recent Open Internet initiative that was basically a rewrite of the Google-Verizon tiered broadband approach they co-released last year, instead of standing on their own to create and enact regulations that are fair for everyone.


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