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FCC Agrees to Most of Google’s Demands for 700MHZ Bids

The Federal Communications Commission has made its decision on the ground-rules for winning the 700MHZ wireless spectrum. Remember, Google upped the ante by making a bid provided the FCC agreed to:

  • Open applications: consumers should be able to download and utilize any software applications, content, or services they desire;
  • Open devices: consumers should be able to utilize their handheld communications device with whatever wireless network they prefer;
  • Open services: third parties (resellers) should be able to acquire wireless services from a 700 MHz licensee on a wholesale basis, based on reasonably nondiscriminatory commercial terms; and
  • Open networks: third parties (like Internet service providers) should be able to interconnect at any technically feasible point in a 700 MHz licensee?s wireless network

We’ve speculated as to whether the search engine seriously thought the FCC would agree or whether it was just bluff on Google’s part.

So what did the FCC agree to? (drum roll please)

The winner of valuable wireless airwaves the U.S. government plans to sell by early next year would have to permit consumers to connect using any device or software, U.S. regulators decided on Tuesday.

The Federal Communications Commission voted to shake up the wireless market by approving a set of ground-rules for the upcoming auction that would require the winner to make them accessible to any phone, other device or application.

The FCC stopped short of going with Google’s full list of demands – no wholesale pricing – and the requirements won’t apply to existing wireless network providers.

Still, a wireless network that allows us to choose our device and software. Is this too good to be true?

UPDATE: Google’s responded to the decision.