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).
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