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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the follow-the-money dept.

Angry Jesus writes:

A rare auction of valuable frequencies has sent the big four carriers on a lobbying spree that may determine who controls your cell phone. Verizon and AT&T want the FCC to remove restrictions that limit the amount of spectrum any one single buyer can purchase, making the size of the bid the only consideration, and they've surreptitiously commissioned academic research they can use to back-stop their claims of why that would be a good thing. T-Mobile and Sprint have hired their own set of think-tanks to do the same for the opposite position, but they don't have as much money as the two big companies have to spend on "useful idiots" who agree with their positions but not necessarily their goals.

Behind all of these machinations lies the larger question are spectrum auctions and the attendant spectrum oligopoly even in the public interest at all?

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by cmn32480 on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:51PM

    by cmn32480 (443) <{cmn32480} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:51PM (#22075) Journal

    It doesn't matter.

    The barrier to entry in the cellular provider market is so obscenely high that the carriers that exist currently have effectively cut out any chance of competition, and from TFS it looks like he with the deepest pockets will probably win again.

    The loser is certainly not the other cellular providers, in the end, as always, it is the consumer.

    --
    "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @04:11PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @04:11PM (#22102)

      Good job completely ignoring the second link! Congrats on using fatalism to support corruption.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by hamsterdan on Thursday March 27 2014, @09:41PM

      by hamsterdan (2829) on Thursday March 27 2014, @09:41PM (#22252)

      Yes it does. The CRTC in Canada reserved some frequencies for the new players to prevent Robelus from buying them all. Some new players had deep enough pockets to get in the game (but are selling packages that are about the same as competition, so costumers are still screwed.)

      What scares me more is we lost channels 70-83 (800Mhz) in the '80s to cell companies, lost 53-69 a couple years ago (700, cell companies again), next step will be 35-50 (600) leaving very few channels for off-air TV. (gues who gets screwed again?)

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:11PM (#22123)

    "TV stations will be able to sell off their spectrum holdings in exchange for a portion of the price paid by bidders."

    Sweet!, private entities getting a cut of the public airwaves they were supposed to serve "in the public interest"

    Used to be they just got big chunks of money as they sold stations (and their licenses) between each other.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MrGuy on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:59PM

      by MrGuy (1007) on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:59PM (#22143)

      To be slightly fair to broadcasters, as I understand it this was part of the deal when they were encouraged to switch technologies from analog to digital television broadcasting, which freed up much of the "new" spectrum to be reclaimed and re-used for this purpose. The incentive (supposedly) sped up the move to digital broadcasting by several years.