Google's done it again!
In the New York Times on Monday, it was reported that Google presented a proposal to the FCC that spectrum, being the precious public good, should not be auctioned off in single, market-shaping events. Instead, Google proposed that the FCC should implement a real-time bidding model that values spectrum instantly.
The FCC had a process for comment on the auction process for a sizeable chunk of bandwidth in the 700 MHz range that had been used by TV broadcasters. This process closed on Wednesday.
The proposal has been endorsed by Reed Hundt, the former FCC chairman and his consortium.
No doubt spectrum is valuable and in the current auction technique, only the oligopoly – AT&T, VerizonWireless, Sprint and T-Mobile – can garner the billions of dollars required. Despite the FCC's attempts to allocate to small business, minority-owned companies etc the big guys and their big $ drive the outcomes as barriers to entry. The FCC experiments with rule making on these auctions has failed in the past to produce the level of innovation and competition that really benefits consumers. If that's the goal, and I believe it is, the FCC will have to accept this innovative approach to define the way bandwidth is shared among competing service providers. I love it!
Remember that Google used this technique in the distribution of shares as part of their IPO.