The FCC Continues Trend Of Aligning With Google’s Ideas

January 10, 2011

6:56 pm

This past week at CES, I was excited to sit in on the session with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to see what he had to say about the past, present, and future of all things policy and FCC. I had no real preconceived notions about what we would hear, but I was curious if there would be talk about the recent passage of the Open Internet rules and some of the criticism they have received.

While Chairman Genakowski didn’t touch too much on the recent rules, he did look to the future and some initiatives that the FCC is going to work hard toward in the near future. One of the major pushes Genakowski is concentrating on is what he termed “voluntary incentive auctions.” The premise of these auctions is to allow broadcasters the ability to auction off some of their unused spectrum while they are not using it, providing compensation for the amounts they give up.

Think ‘on-demand commodity market for spectrum’, where it could be bought and sold when needs demand it for some and supply is abundant for others.

As I was listening, I kept having this nagging feeling that I had heard this before. Then it dawned on me. This idea was the very same idea I had heard expressed by Google’s Larry Page several years ago at a Google Talk in DC. I went back and found an article I had written in May of 2008 where I wrote:

Something else that I thought was conceptually a pretty revolutionary idea by Larry, was a suggestion to totally revamp the spectrum bidding process. As it is right now, companies that get these spectrums, do so for a very very lengthy amount of time. Larry stated that spectrum should be auctioned off, almost down to the minute, as carriers had the need. Almost a stock exchange for spectrum.

Has the FCC become a clearinghouse to push through ideas of industry partners like Google and Verizon? Evidence like this market idea and the recent Open Internet initiative that was basically a rewrite of the Google-Verizon tiered broadband approach they co-released last year, seem to indicate so. Shouldn’t the FCC stand on their own to create and enact regulations that are fair for everyone? What do you think? Leave us a comment below.

Editor’s Note: This article was contributed by Jimmy Gardner a photographer, longtime blogger at and Tech Cocktail contributor since 2009. You can read other articles by Jimmy Gardner here. You can follow Jimmy on Twitter at: @jjgardner3

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Jimmy Gardner is a Senior Unix/Windows Engineer, a lover of technology and photography. Follow him online at @jjgardner3 and enjoy his portfolio at

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