US eyeing rules for massive spectrum auction plan

The US government is considering draft rules for a major auction for spectrum, a wide range of radio frequencies, that would create an open network free of restrictions usually imposed by telecom firms, an AFP report said.

The AFP report said the proposal, which could dramatically transform the US wireless and broadband markets, comes after demands by Google and other technology companies to free up spectrum and ease the domination of large telecom carriers, media here reported.

Unlike the European market, US telecom firms decide which devices can be used on their networks and consumers are blocked from using mobile phones or other products elsewhere.

The auction is expected to attract numerous bidders as the frequencies on offer are well-suited to broadband with strong signals and a longer reach than Wi-Fi, the AFP report said.

The proposed move for an open network would represent a setback for the giant telecom firms such as AT&T and Verizon that like to control what phones and services are used on their networks, the report added.

Telecom carriers have criticized the draft rules as unnecessary and tailored to fit Google's needs while some consumer advocates said the rules were too timid and would fail to ensure genuine competition in the wireless market, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Google, which has developed numerous applications for mobile phones, welcomed the draft rules for the auction as a 'favorable development,' the report further added.