Google has announced that it will participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming auction of wireless spectrum in the 700 MHz band.
As part of America’s nationally mandated transition to digital television, the 700 MHz spectrum auction, which begins January 24, 2008, will free up spectrum airwaves for more efficient wireless internet service for consumers.
The company stated that advocacy by public interest groups and Google helped ensure that regardless of which bidders win a key portion of the spectrum up for auction (the so-called ‘C Block’), they will be required to allow their users to download any software application they want on their mobile device, and to use any mobile devices they would like on that wireless network. The winner must ensure these rights for consumers if the reserve price of $4.6 billion for the C Block is met at auction.
Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO, Google, said: We believe it’s important to put our money where our principles are. Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in today’s wireless world. No matter which bidder ultimately prevails, the real winners of this auction are American consumers who likely will see more choices than ever before in how they access the internet.