The FCC recently published the details of the final rules for the 700 MHz auction, which have contained no surprises so far, save one: The FCC did not include a rule that would limit the amount of spectrum an incumbent can bid on during the auction, as requested by Google and other new entrants. According to a report in the WSJ, the reason that the FCC did not include such a provision was that public-safety officials feared such a limit would make the spectrum block set aside for a public-private safety network less attractive to bidders looking to buy a large swatch of spectrum. After all, if there is a cap, a carrier might not prefer to spend money on a block of spectrum that comes with special rules, like helping to build out a public-safety network.
So Google successfully lobbied for open access when it comes to devices and applications, but failed to get the FCC to limit the bidding by incumbents like Verizon Wireless and AT&T.
For more on the auction:
- read this article from the WSJ (sub. req.)