About FCC rules relating to the upcoming auction of some spectrum currently occupied by UHF television broadcasters, David Oxenford writes:
... Users of the Internet, led by Google, have argued for an open system, where a subscriber pays for access to the wireless spectrum, and can essentially connect any device or receive any service, just as long as it does not damage the network. This is much like the current wired telephone network, where a consumer can connect a telephone or a fax machine or a laptop computer and get access to the network. Proponents of this model contend that it will encourage technological development as companies compete to develop different applications that can run on the network,and provide a "third pipe" into the home providing high speed Internet access to compete with that provided by cable and telephone companies. Some might assume that content providers like broadcasters would favor that open approach so that their content can be easily delivered to the consumer, without the broadcaster having to cut any sort of deal with the network provider to get access. ...
Link: Davis Wright Tremaine's Broadcast Law Blog.
Also see Eric Bangeman's Google announces intent to bid on 700MHz spectrum auction, if...:
... The four conditions outlined by Google in its letter announcing its intent to bid would go a long way towards ensuring that the freed-up spectrum fulfills its potential as a "third broadband pipe." Under a truly open network, consumers would be able to use any application on any device that they want. Also, winning bidders would be forced to license their spectrum at wholesale prices, which would keep one or two companies from gobbling up all the spectrum and limiting competitor (or even customer access to it). Lastly, ISPs would be able to interconnect freely to the 700MHz network at any technically feasible point. ...
Link: Ars Technica.
Then see Miguel Helft's F.C.C. Heading Toward Rejection of Google's Wireless Auction Conditions:
... The commission’s chairman, Kevin Martin, proposed his version of so-called “open access” rules that would apply to about third of the spectrum being auctioned. These would allow consumers to connect to the wireless network with any device running any application. The two Democratic commissioners said they supported the idea, and the two Republican commissioners said they were undecided. ¶ But a key point Martin, a Republican, would not support, and that Google insists on, is a rule forcing whoever wins the spectrum at the auction to wholesale parts of it to other companies who want to resell it. ...
Link: New York Times.
Finally, check out Robert X. Cringely's Is Google on Crack?: Eric Schmidt bets the ranch on wireless spectrum. Link: PBS. --Dennis