Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Wireless Networking Businesses Government Hardware Politics

Google et al. Want 700 MHz Auction Opened Up 170

Posted by kdawson
from the third-helping-of-pipes dept.
The 700 MHz spectrum could give birth to the much-anticipated third pipe, but phone and cable lobbyists are currently pressuring the FCC to sell companies like AT&T and Verizon our airwaves — in a flawed auction process — so they can hoard this valuable spectrum and stifle competitive alternatives to their networks. Google and other would-be providers are not taking it lying down. They want the FCC to mandate that whoever wins the auction be required to sell access to those airwaves, at wholesale prices, to anyone wanting to provide broadband Internet service. They also want anonymous auctions to prevent the giant incumbents from manipulating the results against small players (as they have done in the past).
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google et al. Want 700 MHz Auction Opened Up

Comments Filter:
  • What is this third pipe? What are the other two?
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @06:26PM (#19375287) Journal
      What is this third pipe? What are the other two?

      Well one's normally referred as a tube.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by aichpvee (631243)
        How does a tube differ from a pipe? And what's the third one called? Is it a straw? I hope it's a bendy straw! I always loved those as a kid.
      • by GunFodder (208805)
        The difference between a pipe and a tube is that pipes are normally used to carry crap OUT of a building.
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

      by scooter.higher (874622) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @06:29PM (#19375311) Homepage Journal
      FTFA:

      "The 700 MHz auctions will not give birth to the much anticipated third pipe if the licenses are auctioned to the very same vertically integrated telephone and cable incumbents that dominate the wireline market."

      Reading that leads me to believe that "telephone and cable incumbents that dominate the wireline market" are the first two pipes.

      Pipes of course referring to internet connectivity.

      You have to have a pipe to connect to the tubes... (couldn't resist)
  • Google has enough money to compete in these auctions. Why wouldn't they simply outbid the competitors and sell the space themselves?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      But they know that if they can get the "telephone and cable incumbents that dominate the wireline market" bumped out of, or at least have them given a reduced presence in, the auction they have a better chance of winning the auction with less up front out of pocket.

      Does that mean free, high speed, wireless internet access paid for by Google Ads? Probably not. But it might. There were several companies doing the same with dial-up a few years back.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The cable/telephone companies will outspend google just to keep them out. Google can only hope to get 'into' the business, while the other two can simply raise prices to cover the cost of keeping google out.
    • by twitter (104583) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @06:41PM (#19375415) Homepage Journal

      Why wouldn't [Google] simply outbid the competitors and sell the space themselves?

      The "competitors" can collude and form a much larger bidder than anyone else. They drive the price up where real competition advances but leave prices low for themselves elsewhere. If bidding is anonymous, it will be harder for people to collude and everyone will have to pay what they think the airwaves are worth.

      There are still problems with the proposals. The first is that the incumbents won't treat their competitors fairly, even if forced by law to share. They will screw them over and pay whatever fees the government levies but then pass the costs back to you and me. The second problem is that the incumbents can overbid because they know there will be no real competition and they can charge whatever they like in the long run. These are not shortcomings of a free market, they are failures in regulations for a scarce resource which some say is not scarce afterall [slashdot.org]. It's ultimately a failure to share equitably.

      How much do you really want to pay for your airwaves? I want mine free. The FCC should change it's mission to the above mentioned report and enforcing peaceful co-existence. The only problems with spectrum would be accidental disruption, which can be fixed, and willful disruption, which should be punished.

      • by alen (225700)
        Google can team up with microsoft and Yahoo as well as few other companies as well. not like AT&T and Verizon are friends. they are competitors with each other.

        Reason Google is making noise is that they want someone else to spend tens of millions of $$$ and then leech of it like they do with everyone else. Google is good at what it does, but in the end they are masters of making money of other people's creations and investments.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by OnlineAlias (828288)
          10's of millions? Heh...last I heard this auction is worth over $15 billion. Not even Google can blow that kind of dough unnoticed...
        • by Darlantan (130471)
          As inventor of the 700 MHz chunk of the EM spectrum, I agree wholehearedly. I deserve to be compensated for my hard work!

          What's that you say? Radio waves not invented? Natural? What? Well, nuts.

          I don't like Google, they've been doing too many things that I'm wary about. However, I'm fully behind any sort of reform as far as the FCC and the EM spectrum goes. The FCC has a nasty habit of taking a public resource, claiming they control it, then auctioning off public property to private groups for a profit -- a
    • Re:Surely..... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pla (258480) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @06:41PM (#19375417) Journal
      Google has enough money to compete in these auctions. Why wouldn't they simply outbid the competitors and sell the space themselves?

      Actually, they do have enough money - Google has a market cap roughly equal to Verizon and Time Warner combined

      The problem here doesn't (only) involve money, though - Basically, it sounds like these auctions have most of the "fairness" of EBay, where unscrupulous sellers (sadly, our own government in this case) and bidders can drive a price up far beyond its fair value. In this case, the existing broadband companies (the first two pipes referenced in the FP) would presumeably like to keep their regional duopolies and would either use the 700MHz range for their exclusive use, or if they can, buy it cheap just to prevent anyone else from using it.

      Thus the requested condition that the winner MUST license it to competitors - That prevents Verizon (for example) from using various tricks to get the spectrum cheap and then do nothing with it.

      Not so sure I understand the reason for some of the other mentioned terms of the auction (anonymous? I know our government has some corruption, but so bad that a non-anonymous auction would give the existing players an unfair edge?)
      • by spun (1352)

        Not so sure I understand the reason for some of the other mentioned terms of the auction (anonymous? I know our government has some corruption, but so bad that a non-anonymous auction would give the existing players an unfair edge?)

        If you know whether a bid is made by an outsider intent on challenging your revenue stream, or an insider willing to play along, you know whether to outbid them or not. If most outsiders can be outbid, the current players can raise their prices on service as much as they like to

    • by ajanp (1083247) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @06:42PM (#19375427)
      Google TiSP... amazing that they found a way to let you use the "third-pipe" to deliver broadband access to your home months before the competition. http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/04/ 01/1331238 [slashdot.org]
    • Re:Surely..... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @07:27PM (#19375763) Homepage
      When it comes to the bidding process, should the government finally not recognised that it is selling access to the part of the spectrum of behalf of the population. Surely the bidding process should not only be based on how much they are willing to pay for it but on how much they are going to charge for access to it.

      The governments lie of just focusing on selling it to the highest bidder, who just it turn feels they will be able to charge us the most for access , means they are no in any way shape or form representing the interests of the people but only establishing yet another part of the public wealth as a closed off private area for profit by corporations at the expense of the general public.

      So will this auction be held and this release of spectrum be in the public interest or will it be yet another demonstration of the corruption and inherent ignorance of a typical corporation controlled government administration.

      • by evilviper (135110)

        Surely the bidding process should not only be based on how much they are willing to pay for it but on how much they are going to charge for access to it.

        You're assuming public access, but that isn't the only use of spectrum, by far. Private companies need wireless communications, too.

        Also, how are you going to assess what they "charge for access"? If it's something ad-supported, so they charge nothing up-front, do they get the spectrum for free? If they have non-public purposes for it, do they have to pa

        • by rtb61 (674572)
          When you sell add you are charging, like all things it is a sub-let, one company charges another. The most important thing above all elae is how much the general public pay for access, how great a proportion of the public is excluded from access by price. Furphy based, twisty yarns, are just nonsense to defend a corrupt practice.

          If the governments interest is the general public they will just clearly stipulate the method of bidding to ensure cost to the public is the most important part of the bidding pro

          • by evilviper (135110)
            You have still completely failed to explain how you're going to classify what they charge for access, without any loopholes. "Access" isn't a dollar amount that can be trivially shown up-front.

            In fact, why don't you just go and read my previous post, as it seems you didn't the first time...

            Currently, the initial price they're willing to pay is as good as any other. In capitalism, it indicates how much use they're going to get out of it. Whether they charge $1 for any member of the public that wants to ma
            • by rtb61 (674572)
              It is not capitalism, the government are selling a monopoly. You don't seem to grasp the principle of simply establishing the maximum basis upon which they can charge ie. no more than ??/?? if they want to charge less that is up to them by what ever means they want to charge less, if the government wants to stipulate add fee services than it does.

              If it jumps wants to establish a monopoly for what ever corporation is willing to pay them the most during the bidding process, and then the most during the next

              • by evilviper (135110)
                You have still completely failed to explain how you're going to classify what they charge for access, without any loopholes. "Access" isn't a dollar amount that can be trivially shown up-front.
      • by Lumpy (12016)
        you are basing your observation on your belief that the government offices and officers are not corrupt.
      • The governments lie of just focusing on selling it to the highest bidder, who just it turn feels they will be able to charge us the most for access , means they are no in any way shape or form representing the interests of the people

        The spectrum is owned by all 400+ million of us, right? Only a subset of us wish to use that spectrum for any given purpose. Should the rest of us give the spectrum to that subset for free? Heck, no. We sell it, like any other asset, for the highest value that the buyers are wi

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mabhatter654 (561290)
      sure, if they get invited to the first round.

      Lately the FCC is pretty good (with the prez approval) about keeping big deals that benefit mega corps quite (posted in a lavatory in the basement of city hall for us plebs.. but the dept head goes out of his way to meet the big players for lunch about the deal) The FCC is VERY anti-little-guy right now, and even guys like Google are still "new money".. another term for little guys that can momentarily out spend you for a new toy. The effort is making sure the

    • by kinglink (195330)
      Simple, why actually fight the battle when you can look like the poor SOB, get popular support, get a fair price for the bandwidth, and get fair legislation for the bandwidth. Hell any of those last three results would be a huge win but all three would be devastating.

      Same reason why google bought Itunes, they could fight the legal battle rather then watching Youtube get destroyed and legal precedent get made. Now there's a possible legal battle, popular support, and if anything more attention again, googl
  • that money can buy.

    No matter who wins this fight, we all lose.
    • Everyone could win. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by twitter (104583) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @06:50PM (#19375495) Homepage Journal

      No matter who wins this fight, we all lose.

      No, it's possible to lower the cost of wireless by fixing the bidding process. If ATT and friends know there will be real competition, they will be less able to run the prices up. It won't be impossible but it will be harder.

      A real sharing of spectrum is possible [slashdot.org] but politically unlikely. Really, we should claim the air for ourselves and no further regulation is required other than policing intentional disruption.

  • by Baldrson (78598) * on Sunday June 03, 2007 @06:39PM (#19375393) Homepage Journal
    The way spectrum is currently utilized, it is like land. Although it doesn't have to be this way [slashdot.org], reality dictates that until proper technologies for spectrum utilization are put into place, that spectrum be treated like land:

    The users should rent it from the government that is enforcing their property rights over this natural resource.

    This is a principle called "economic rent".

    Milton Friedman has declared such taxation the "least distorting" kind of tax.

    The way to set the rental agreement is to determine the liquidation value of the "land", and then charge a rent on it equal to the interest rate on short term US treasury instruments.

    As with any rental agreement there would be other terms but the basic idea is that such resources enjoy liquidation value changes that are primarily a result of the economic environment -- meaning economic externalities drive the liquidation value -- and allocation of externalities is a social function.

    • Moderators. Parent needs some attention.
    • Monopoly Rents. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by twitter (104583)

      The users should rent it from the government that is enforcing their property rights over this natural resource.

      Others have argued there is no scarcity of the resource you are talking about [slashdot.org], so no regulation is required. Taxing unlimited resources is socially harmful. In this case, the only purpose of the tax is to "protect" incumbents and their revenue stream. The cost to the rest of us for that revenue stream is the majority of your monthly telco bill, and a proportion of all the goods and services

      • Re:Monopoly Rents. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by evilviper (135110) on Monday June 04, 2007 @01:13AM (#19378009) Journal

        Others have argued there is no scarcity of the resource you are talking about, so no regulation is required.

        They have argued it, but it's clear they have no actual knowledge of wireless communications. Read just a few of the comments under that story to see a few reasons they're completely mistaken.

        As technology improves, you can do more with less, but no amount of technology is going to make a limited resource like spectrum, infinite.
        • As technology improves, you can do more with less, but no amount of technology is going to make a limited resource like spectrum, infinite.

          No amount of wishful thinking is going to save the incumbent telcos. As hundreds of people easily share a single radio frequency in public places every day, spectrum is practically infinite. If allocated properly, there's enough for every person to broadcast video. The old spectrum allocation is wasteful and every day it lasts robs the public. A radical overhall i

          • by evilviper (135110)

            As hundreds of people easily share a single radio frequency in public places every day, spectrum is practically infinite.

            "Easily share" == Raising the noise floor, reducing each other's throughput, etc., etc.

            Not to mention that a big part of it is the temporal nature of it... Only a minority of people are using it at the same time. If everyone was constantly transferring (broadcasting), it would easily grind to a halt.

            If allocated properly, there's enough for every person to broadcast video.

            Only if perhap

        • As technology improves, you can do more with less, but no amount of technology is going to make a limited resource like spectrum, infinite.

          Yeah, but when you have worldwide petabit wireless, infinity will seem like it's in the same neighborhood.

          I think the spectrum will be essentially infinite someday in the next couple decades, but it isn't now.

          Nevertheless, only the big companies and the government are seeing any advantage over this allegedly public resources.

  • by Doppler00 (534739) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @06:41PM (#19375413) Homepage Journal
    Why not just leave the spectrum completely open to the public like 900MHz and 2.4GHz? Although, require that the spectrum must use intelligent radio devices that comply to a single standard (through IEEE for example).
    • by twitter (104583)

      Sounds great [slashdot.org]. Where do I sign up?

    • by tknd (979052)
      Because the government wants to sell the spectrum for money rather than open it to the public which would get the government zero dollars.
      • by McNally (105243)

        Why not just leave the spectrum completely open to the public like 900MHz and 2.4GHz?

        Because the government wants to sell the spectrum for money rather than open it to the public which would get the government zero dollars.

        Shortsighted thinking. Which do you think has netted "the government" more in tax dollars:

        • Auction of the mostly-unused 700Mhz frequency space, -or-
        • The economic benefit to government from the huge industry selling cordless phones, wi-fi access points, laptops & PDAs with built-in
    • "Why not just leave the spectrum completely open to the public like 900MHz and 2.4GHz?"
      That would be great... But I'd rather have something around 450 MHz. 450 MHz is easier to propagate, compared to 900 and 2400 MHz, and it's also cheaper to make equipment and cabling for it. 450 MHz would be great for longer links and mesh networking.
    • by evilviper (135110)

      Why not just leave the spectrum completely open to the public like 900MHz and 2.4GHz?

      Perhaps because those and other unlicensed frequencies already exist? How much unlicensed spectrum is enough?
  • by mgoren (73073) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @06:52PM (#19375513)
    Is this related to the Save Our Spectrum [freepress.net] coalition? I believe that group is asking for the following:
    • establish a service rule for broadband services operating in the 700 MHz band that protects the consumer's right to use any equipment, content, application or service on a non-discriminatory basis without interference from the network provider.
    • allow third-party access to spectrum owned by other companies. This "open access" plan to include wholesale access to networks would enable more competitors to offer services
    • institute anonymous bidding in auctions to lessen the possibility of bid signalling and bid rigging that studies found to have taken place in prior auctions.
    Also, what about open spectrum [wikipedia.org]? Does it work well in practice? Would that be a better solution? (though I know it's a moot point for the upcoming auction.)
    • by prator (71051)
      I've also seen Public Knowledge [publicknowledge.org] discussing this quite a bit. I'm sure that I ended up there from reading a /. article at some point.
  • by argoff (142580) * on Sunday June 03, 2007 @07:08PM (#19375631)
    The whole premise behind the FCC was that if spectrum was unregulated you would have a tragedy of the commons were everybody would pollute it so much that it would become unusable. However in practice that has turned out to be a complete and absolute lie. In the unregulated spectrum's, the more the spectrum got "polluted", the more people created technologies that could intelligently allocate, detect, shift, and route around. So now all spectrum regulation does is lock in obsolete technologies and wasteful inefficient use of the frequencies in place.
    • by briancnorton (586947) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @09:01PM (#19376419) Homepage
      a tragedy of the commons were everybody would pollute it so much that it would become unusable.
      However in practice that has turned out to be a complete and absolute lie

      Is it? I have no metrics to back up what I'm saying, I haven't done any research on the topic, but I live in a gadget soaked suburb, and anything in the 900mhz or 2.4 ghz band is completely unusable, and 5.8 used to be fine, but is worsening. I already had to wire my house to get around the massive interference from my neighbors and all their spurious emissions. My radio even picks up the digital clicks from their cell-phones. I don't know what the answer is, but a bunch of conflicting stuff is a bad answer.

      • by NateTech (50881) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @11:27PM (#19377385) Homepage
        The people touting no control at all, also have no metrics or basis for their claims. Your analysis is as close as it comes when we talk about unlicensed free-for-alls, and if 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz are examples... trying to do real services that people pay for in unlicensed uncontrolled spectrum would be a joke. Whoever had the most money for the most transmitters and amplifiers, would win.

        And considering that there are still LICENSED users of those bands who've all but had to abandon them to the noise floor created by the Part 15 unlicenced gadgets also adds more fuel to your comments.

        900 MHz, and 2.4 GHz are already overcrowded wastelands, and spread spectrum technology somewhat covers up the mess that's been made there for the end-users. There are now 15 (most open, unsecured) 802.11 access points accessible from my suburban driveway. We're all interfering with each other, most of the end-users just don't know it. They think the performance numbers they get today are normal. Early adopters have seen it go drastically downhill.
        • by argoff (142580) *
          This says nothing about how technology would evolve in an unlicensed system though, all you talk about is how some current technology doesn't to a good job of differentiating new signals that come along.

          "Whoever had the most money for the most transmitters and amplifiers, would win."

          This is another FCC myth, but the physics doesn't back it up. It is false for the same reason that I can criss-cross my flash light signal thru a 500 terawatt laser beam without interference.
          • by sg3000 (87992)
            > the physics doesn't back it up. It is false for the same reason that I can criss-cross my flash light signal thru a 500 terawatt laser beam
            > without interference.

            The physics does back it it. Your example works because they're at different frequencies -- it's called frequency division multiplexing. If they're on the same channel, you would get co-channel interference.
          • by Jott42 (702470)
            Nobody has ever said that RF-signals interfere with each other in the air. They interfere with each other in the reciver. And your reciever will get signals from multiple transmitters, as antennas are in no way as directive, i.e. has as narrow beams, as lasers. The opposite is (almost) true: most small and handheld devices do recieve signals from all directions, including up and down. Thus they will recive interfering signals. And thus it is easy to shut down a CDMA-network: you only need a handful of corre
          • by NateTech (50881)
            When you find any RF technology that can completely ignore every other unwanted signal "on the wire" that the receiver is receiving other than the one you wanted to receive, let me know.

            None of this is "FCC myth", it's cold hard engineering fact. Yes, your flashlight can pass through the laser, but you're talking about frequencies that don't PROPAGATE well.

            The original discussion is about 700 MHz, not light. Stay on topic.

            The only technology that comes close to being able to really "share" frequencies is
        • ***stroking my CAT5e cable with happiness*** :)

          Five years ago, I LOVED WiFi technology. Now...I hate it with a passion. I'm tired of dealing with random disconnects and interrupted file transfers. That's what I get living in an apartment complex where WiFi routers and WiFi enabled printers are the norm.

          Going back to networking basics has eliminated a vast amount of stress in my life. 802.11 technology has been raped and abused. Effectively, it's now "spent"!
          • by NateTech (50881)
            Getting there. Yep.

            There are some inherent problems with Ethernet as it relates to RF also... many Ethernet devices that are cheaply designed far exceed the "incidental radiation" regulations for RF in some bands.

            Holding the antenna of a good quality spectrum analyzer up to an operating piece of Cat 5e carrying "standard" 100 Mb/s Ethernet is a lesson in spectrum analysis and management.
    • by dr.badass (25287)
      The whole premise behind the FCC was that if spectrum was unregulated you would have a tragedy of the commons were everybody would pollute it so much that it would become unusable. However in practice that has turned out to be a complete and absolute lie.

      So there is no such thing as interference? It doesn't ever happen? Anywhere? Ever? Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
    • by Comatose51 (687974) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @09:28PM (#19376637) Homepage
      In an unregulated scenario, it would be whoever has the most powerful transmitter would win. It really doesn't matter what scheme you come up if someone just decides to blast the airwaves. Things like CDMA and TDMA only work because all the participating radios are working off the same agreed upon protocol. CDMA requires all the transmitters use a chirping code such that the resulting transmissions are orthogonal to each other. TDMA requires a centralized management of time slots. Even Bluetooth requires that everyone on the same PAN subscribe to the same pseudorandom number sequence. If someone just decides to blast radio waves, there's nothing anyone or any scheme can do.
      • by argoff (142580) *
        "it would be whoever has the most powerful transmitter would win."

        That's the other common fallacy that goes along with the FCC, but it's not based off of physics. You could shoot off a 500 terawatt laser and it's not going to interfere with a flashlight beam cris-crossing thru it. There is nothing different about the RF spectrum, accept that we can't see it with our eyes.
        • by Jott42 (702470)
          Except that such directivity requires ridiculous large antennas at RF-frequencies...
          • Yes, something like a Pringles can.
            • by Jott42 (702470)
              If you are serious in comparing the directivity from a laser to the one from a pringles can, I recommend you to read up on some basic antenna technology. A pringles can is still radiating in all directions, but has an increased gain in its main lobe. But it is nowhere as directional as a laser. Not even close.
      • ***In an unregulated scenario, it would be whoever has the most powerful transmitter would win.***

        The guy with the most watts is certainly a likely winner. There are other classes of possible winner who might even beat out the man with the monster transmitter.. For example, the service with the greatest tolerance for interference. I don't know what has happened recently with RF-lighting technology in the 2.4GHz segment, but it seems likely to me that this is a user who is essentially immune from any (r

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      The whole premise behind the FCC was that if spectrum was unregulated you would have a tragedy of the commons were everybody would pollute it so much that it would become unusable. However in practice that has turned out to be a complete and absolute lie.

      I'm afraid that this statement is provably false. Here is but one example. Whilst I am not across how things are in the US, here in Australia, 27mHz CBRS (Citizens Band Radio Service) is unregulated, as is UHF CBRS. When it was regulated in the 80s, you c

    • by evilviper (135110)

      In the unregulated spectrum's, the more the spectrum got "polluted", the more people created technologies that could intelligently allocate, detect, shift, and route around.

      Wrong on several counts.

      First, people didn't create new signaling technologies when they noticed their phones and computers were getting interference. The signaling technologies have existed for many years, they're merely getting incrementally utilized in popular equipment.

      Second, the "unregulated spectrum" you speak of simply does not

    • by sg3000 (87992)
      > The whole premise behind the FCC was that if spectrum was unregulated you would have a tragedy of the commons were everybody would
      > pollute it so much that it would become unusable. However in practice that has turned out to be a complete and absolute lie.

      Ladies and gentlemen, the above is Exhibit A to prove there are not enough RF engineers on Slashdot.

      > Spectrum Anarchy - kill the FCC (Score:5, Insightful)

      And this is Exhibit B.

      It is completely ridiculous to suggest that we can let the "market"
  • Oh yeah - those are the companies that handed over all the information concerning their subscriber's phone calls to the Bush administration without so much as a warrant to legitimize the request.

  • wireless (Score:2, Insightful)

    There's also a huge problem that the entertainment industry is having with all of this auctioning of RF. Wireless mics operate on these bands. It's already hard enough to organize hundreds of wireless mics on the spectrum by not running into existing tv channels, other mics, creating intermod and etc... And now with even LESS spectrum don't expect the superbowl, grammys, presidential rallies, fundraisers, churches, plays, concerts and other functions to have wireless mics. We need a spot for comsumer device
  • Third pipe (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @07:42PM (#19375883)

    ...the much-anticipated third pipe...

    Yeah, I've been trying to get my wife to go for that for a while, but she's afraid of getting Santorum all over the place.

  • by ffejie (779512)
    I know it's Slashdot, where big companies are always wrong (unless it's Google), but could we please tone down the bias in the article summary? Wow.
    • by LordKazan (558383)
      Um... no.... big companies are wrong when they do wrong things... which with certain big companies is every time they do anything (RIAA, MPAA, members of the communications cartel, big oil, big pharma) and others rarely (google) and some not-at-all. The problem is that the high visibility ones (listed first there) think they're the center of the universe and are corporatists instead of capitalists
  • by Raisey-raison (850922) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @09:59PM (#19376869)
    Firstly this just demonstrates that the public airwaves are not 'public' at all. They merely belong to the corporations who are the biggest campaign contributors. I love how people who use airwaves without FCC approval are pirates and criminals - but if give to the right politicians and fix the auction then you are legit. Its amazing that if you bilk the customer because either you can get away with ignoring anti trust laws because your Verizon or AT&T then it's ok. Steal a CD and you go to jail.

    Secondly this story is another example of the lack of competition in cell phone service and wireless data service. There is enough spectrum for at least 8 national companies. Yet there really are only 3 or 4 depending on how you count them. This I bet is why service is still absurdly expensive. Thirdly, I dream of the re-division of the airwaves. Its a quite a mess. Of course the changeover period may be difficult - but it would be doable. Finally I don't see why CBS, FOX, ABC and NBC should get them for free when so much of what they do is hardly serving the public. They get to refuse ads they don't like. They dont have to justify what they put on the air much. Why not give them for free for 20 years to others and see if they do better?
  • One question I keep on asking myself is, why do we have lobbyist? Shouldn't it be illegal to have special groups (i.e. corporations) push special agendas? Shouldn't it also be illegal for law makers to vote on specific issues after they have received donations from various lobbyist.
  • We want the airwaves baby.
    That's right. That's right.

Work without a vision is slavery, Vision without work is a pipe dream, But vision with work is the hope of the world.

Working...