Reader Question: 700 MHz & The Buildout

Earlier this morning I received an email from one of our readers who had some questions about the 700 MHz auction and the high cost of the infrastructure buildout that someone like Google might have to undertake in order to roll out their own network. His question:

TV broadcasters have been broadcasting 700 mhz signals from their local tv stations for decades. The buildings and towers to send the downstream signal. Which means the infrastructure is already in place to cover the country minus the backhaul/upstream gear? Couldn’t Google (and Apple together, perhaps) buy the backhaul gear and have it installed at these stations and create ad revenue sharing agreements with the owners of these stations?

Given that two networks — broadcast and broadband — will be used for very different purposes, there is a need for new gear. The only thing they share is the slice of the spectrum. Anyway, I decided to put his question out to you, hoping that you can give him more insight into this topic.


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