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Google Proposes Real-Time Auction Approach For Radio Spectrum Use

Google is stretching its real-time auctions theme to the limit: moving beyond advertising, it has proposed to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to think outside the box in designing the rules for its upcoming auction of radio spectrum…it has proposed what it calls a “real-time airwaves auction model,” which would allow a spectrum license holder to auction off unused spectrum to bidders on a wholesale basis, reports DJN.
The 60 megahertz of spectrum is some of the most valuable ever offered at auction, the story says, and is becoming available due to the transition by TV broadcasters to a digital signal from an analog signal in February 2009. Google said that in some instances, only 5 percent of available spectrum is currently being utilized, and it would allow licensees to farm out spectrum, when it wasn’t using it, to smaller commercial operators who couldn’t afford to bid in the FCC’s spectrum auction directly.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said in the story that he hasn’t seen the proposal, but would consider any proposal that accomplishes greater use to drive wider broadband penetration (one of the spectrum uses). The Google proposal is similar to one raised by Frontline Wireless in the past, the story elaborates.
NYTimes: Google said it had no current plans to bid in the closely watched sale, but has become an active participant in the debate over the control of access to broadband digital networks because it wants to create more competition among digital network providers like cable companies and ISP, the story says…in the future such a system might require that advanced computing technology be built into wireless handsets and computers to automate the auction bidding process and permit it to take place without users noticing.