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Wireless Networking Politics

Wireless Carriers In Huge Washington Lobby Fight Over Spectrum Auction 51

Posted by timothy
from the rent-seeking-on-display dept.
First time accepted submitter techpolicy (3586897) writes "The big four wireless carriers are spending millions of dollars to hire professors, fund Washington think tanks and to meet with the Federal Communications Commission to try to convince the agency to write rules for an upcoming auction of spectrum that favor them, according to an article posted by the Center for Public Integrity in Washington. The frequencies are needed to bolster or build out their nationwide networks — and this kind of low-band spectrum won't be up for sale for a very long time. The biggest fight is over a rule that would limit how much AT&T and Verizon can get of these valuable frequencies. How it plays out will determine who has control over your smartphone."
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Wireless Carriers In Huge Washington Lobby Fight Over Spectrum Auction

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  • Guaranteed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WallaceAndGromit (910755) on Friday March 21, 2014 @08:33PM (#46548129) Homepage
    "How it plays out will determine who has control over your smartphone."

    Guaranteed it won't be me.
    • It's been a painfully helpful thing, like an ice bath for a fever (maybe?) to See my beloved Android system (software and hardware) lose its aura that you can trust stuff because it's free and open source. I still prefer it to alternatives. But I confess that I was naive and went along with the worship of open source. I just don't think I control my phone anymore
    • Hotel Murah Di Jakarta : http://www.emkatupang.com/hote... [emkatupang.com]
  • by retroworks (652802) on Friday March 21, 2014 @08:36PM (#46548157) Homepage Journal
    They don't have to auction it forever, exhausting future generations rights. It should not be worse than selling Grimms to Disney. Shorten the rights, let our kids have a say.
    • They don't have to auction it forever, exhausting future generations rights. It should not be worse than selling Grimms to Disney. Shorten the rights, let our kids have a say.

      Selling implies they paid something.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They should only RENT the spectrum. Problem solved. Behave badly? Your lease is forfeit. No extra rulemaking needed. The frequencies belong to the taxpayers. Why give them to corporations in perpetuity?

    • by guises (2423402)
      It's never forever, these agreements always have time limits on them. Usually ten years with the option for renewal. Here's [fcc.gov] the factsheet for the big auction from 2008, if you recall that one.
    • Like Alaska does with oil and gas royalties: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

      Otherwise it ends up being mostly another giveaway of monopoly to the wealthy who pay a small fraction of the true value ...

  • Make em share (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nethemas the Great (909900) on Friday March 21, 2014 @08:43PM (#46548191)
    Force them to come up with protocols that enable sharing of spectrum and be done with the BS turf wars.
  • by beckett (27524) on Friday March 21, 2014 @08:49PM (#46548219) Homepage Journal
    Canadian telcos have also been busy buying university research.

    Canada has only 3 large telco companies, and they all work together. they do wonderful free market things like raise their prices simultanously last week. [www.cbc.ca].

    Jeffery Church from University of Alberta seems to have taken a pro-incumbent stance in his research. he has been presenting this research at conferences indicating canada's incumbents are playing fair. read the paper here. he's also been busily writing pro-incumbent columns for the National Post [financialpost.com].

    Dwayne Winseck from Carleton University has been calling bullshit on this bought research, and you can hear his criticism of the paper and the comm industry on his CanadaLand podcast interview [podbay.fm].
  • but recognize that most of the bribery here is above board and in full daylight. Most opf our people are too busy with their busy little lives to complain, but it's right there.

    Political corruption always exists. The overall effect it will have on people and their private lives is directly linked to government interference in the markets.

    If the big players (ATT & Verizon) are allowed to increase their stranglehold on market share, we the people will be the end result losers.

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Friday March 21, 2014 @09:27PM (#46548391)

    I think companies should simply forced to face an auction for all their wireless frequencies every five years. That includes radio, TV, cell phone, etc.

    In addition, a large chunk should be reserved for unlicensed use. I think WiFi has shown that that kind of use works very well, and more spectrum for that would be nice.

    • Wouldn't that cause all kind of chaos with existing hardware? Physical antennas can only receive specific frequency ranges. Changing frequencies every 5 years would force you to buy all new hardware.

      • by alen (225700)

        the frequencies would be the same. it would just be a way to get some companies to pay more taxes and just switch which frequencies they use

        good idea

    • by SuluSulu (1039126)
      If you actually did that it would put a huge cost burden on the customers. The carriers would have to set aside a large portion of their earnings every year to ensure that they would have enough just to keep the spectrum that they have let alone expand. Not to mention that if they lost an auction they would also loose most if not everything that they invested in their network. The companies that survive would be the ones that are able to squeeze the most money out of their customers and are the best at mak
      • by stenvar (2789879)

        If you actually did that it would put a huge cost burden on the customers. The carriers would have to set aside a large portion of their earnings every year to ensure that they would have enough just to keep the spectrum that they have let alone expand

        I think that cost would be factored into the bids, which would simply be much lower. If you rent something for 5 years you pay a lot less than if you rent something for an expected 100 years.

        Not to mention that if they lost an auction they would also loose mos

    • That would be very sensible and not at all capitalist. It'll never happen in USA!

      • by stenvar (2789879)

        That would be very sensible and not at all capitalist. It'll never happen in USA!

        Actually, that is exactly the kind of mechanism capitalism and free markets demand.

        The problem is that both major parties are significantly anti-capitalist and anti-free market, the Democrats virulently so, but even the Republicans. Just look at the farm bill vote to see examples of blatant political corruption and anti-market activity. Nobody who voted for that bill should get away with pretending to favor free markets, libert

  • Before Reagan there used to be something called "anit-trust". When some player in the private sector got too big, they would be "broken up" in order to insure "competition". That was in the old days where the US economy had something called "capitalism".

    I know this sounds like a fantasy to many younger Slashdot readers, but it really did happen. Besides "capitalism" there were other obsolete ideas like "privacy", "justice", "voting rights", "free press" and "free travel". I'd encourage you to look this up,

  • Selling things is stupid when you can rent it. The smart move would be to lease it out to companies that want to act as service providers. It gives more control to us, gives "our kids a say", and makes money until it is obsolete.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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