2015-01-18

Google to FCC: Open 3.5 GHz Spectrum for Cheap Internet Bandwidth

The Wall Street Journal has reported that "... [Google] is lobbying U.S. regulators to free up vast amounts of low-cost, mostly vacant spectrum that could serve as an alternative to the big carriers’ services. The plan that Google and others are backing would open up as much as 150 megahertz of spectrum around the 3.5 gigahertz band, pushing to make it usable by all comers without a license while still leaving some of it available for companies to use exclusively. The 3.5 gigahertz airwaves aren’t much use to wireless carriers, because they aren’t good at carrying signals for long distances. But they are useful for delivering heavy loads of data in cities, which could make them viable for a lot of typical wireless needs—the way Wi-Fi is now, but potentially broader and more available. The spectrum would enable startups funded by venture capitalists, for instance, to build speedy wireless networks in parks, buildings or public areas relatively inexpensively, thus making it cheaper for consumers to access the Internet ..."

Google FCC Wavelength Bid Airwaves - Business Insider: "... In a filing with the FCC, [Google] executives said they were "helping to make Internet bandwidth more abundant ... The broadband ecosystem will be well-served by a policy environment that removes barriers to investment, discourages monetization of scarcity, and empowers consumers."... an ongoing auction for a portion of the spectrum bids are approaching $45 billion.

In recent years, Google has been moving increasingly beyond its purely online roots and into the network sphere. The search giant has been slowly rolling out its ultra-fast broadband connection Google Fiber in various US cities since its launch in 2011, challenging established internet providers like Comcast and AT&T.

Google is also experimenting with Project Loon — an attempt to bring the internet to developing countries, rural areas, and disaster zones using high-altitude balloons."



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