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Why Google Doesn't Need To Win the Bid To Win In January

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the a-meta-win dept.

Google 96

explosivejared writes "TheStreet discusses Google's possible strategy options in the bid for the 700 mhz spectrum. The end goal of getting the government to put an open access stipulation on the spectrum, Google's end goal, is almost a given — in the author's opinion. At this point, he says, Google hardly even needs to win to 'win.' From the article: 'Rather than actually winning the auction, Google's participation is likely intended to secure what it sees as the real reward: ensuring that whoever ends up owning the spectrum allows the open access of applications and devices. Indeed, as long as this goal is met, it's hard to see why Google would want to take on the costly task of building and running its own network. But given how much is at stake when it comes to the mobile market, Google's vigilance is shrewd, even if it never planned to own the spectrum.'"

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If nobody bids... (1)

Fishead (658061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614403)

do they still win? The FCC set the minimum bid so high, anyone who bids, loses.

Re:If nobody bids... (4, Insightful)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614519)

You're kidding right? Google prepared a $4.6 billion bid [timesonline.co.uk] themselves which just happens to be the benchmark the FCC used as the reserve price. Your crazy if you don't think that AT&T and Verizon are going to fight this tooth and nail. Android is coming and they know it. They have to hold on to the networks themselves or be cut out. No matter how much building an open standards network benefits Google, AT&T and Verizon realize network infrastructure is what's going to make them players in the new game.

Re:If nobody bids... (5, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614639)

Thats what I love about this whole situation - google has MASSIVE resources to throw at this. If they do get outbid, whoever does so will have to do it with a massive pricetag. Also, google doesn't have the constraints of having to maintain a current telecom network, which all of the other bidders do. The other bidders can't go "all in" because they have too damn much to lose, where google really does not. I believe, just like most of the other posters, that AT&T, Verizon, and the rest all are realizing that they're going to lose the bidding war - hence the sudden 'open network' craze.

Re:If nobody bids... (2, Insightful)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614767)

Umm, no -- overpaying for public resources is BAD.

-Do you really think the FCC is going to pump that money into tax refunds?
-Just where do you think the telco's going to get the money, anyway?

Google, at least, will bill their advertisers. That's who their real customer is.

Re:If nobody bids... (2, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614853)

Clearly, you are an economic genius. These advertisers must have the secret to an inexhaustible fund of money they don't need to get from anyone else. Brilliant.

Re:If nobody bids... (4, Insightful)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615171)

Define overpay. If it means AT&T or Verizon stay in business and remain profitable because of the spectrum, then its really hard to overpay for ones lifeblood. Here it says [wikipedia.org] that spectrum auctions are deposited straight to the US Treasury, so it's just like revenue from taxes. I happen to like the situation. Competition is forced, the treasury gets a boost, and we all benefit.

Re:If nobody bids... (3, Interesting)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 6 years ago | (#21617153)

Compared to the Trillions that our government spends I think that this is not as large of a "boost" as one would think it would be.

Re:If nobody bids... (1)

Foolicious (895952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619359)

Compared to the Trillions that our government spends I think that this is not as large of a "boost" as one would think it would be.
Yeah, so they might as well not even deposit it at all and just dump it out in the street or something. Or give it to me. After all, it's really not that much compared to some other stuff.

Re:If nobody bids... (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 6 years ago | (#21621219)

I did not mean to imply that such money would be unwelcome in the US government, only that compared to the amount of money needed to fund the government that the profits for the auction are pretty tiny, Isn't the budget for NASA something like 16billion/year, so using that number that I just pulled out of my ass (I am too lazy to go and look up what their exact funding is) and knowing that the NASA budget is something like half of a percent of the US budget the money made from this auction is not something to be excited about, the benefits of an open carrier wave are more of something to jump for joy about.

If you have the correct numbers please call me out on my guesstimation if I am significantly off(Laziness wins out for me in this argument)

Re:If nobody bids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21617849)

Deposited straight into Treasury? Excellent! That will pay for... what? Another two weeks in Iraq? YIIIPPEEE!

Re:If nobody bids... (2, Informative)

Miseph (979059) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620895)

Well, last I heard the deficit was increasing at about $1m per minute, 4.6b / 1m = 4600, so at 360 minutes per day it should keep us from getting further into debt for about 12-13 days. Two weeks was actually a very good estimate, kudos to you.

Re:If nobody bids... (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615195)

-Do you really think the FCC is going to pump that money into tax refunds?
Anything that will lessen the massive debt-load we're building is OK by me.

Of course, it'll be used to justify a massively increased annual FCC budget which we'll still be paying 20 years down the road...

If the revenue from this sale were earmarked to subsidizing FTTC, it would make me happy.

Tax on innovation (1)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 6 years ago | (#21625261)

Any payments made to "own" the 700 Mhz spectrum are a TAX on innovation, and essentially force the "winner" to operate strictly in greed mode to pay off the TAX. Spectrum auctions sound good, until you consider the long term consequences. The payment made has to come from somewhere, and the Telcos will be very glad to take their cut along the way.

I think it would be far better to open the spectrum up to anyone who wants to build a wireless mesh network open to all. The Telcos could charge for connecting to their phone and data networks. All other use could help solve the last mile problem. Data transported only across the network would be free. (as in beer)

Re:If nobody bids... Google .... (0)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615329)

Q: Do you really think the FCC is going to pump that money into tax refunds?
A: Yes (FCC/Congress), the tax refund is very important to maintaining the
  _ USA wealth status quo of Corporate-welfare stud servicing (as the farmer
  _ would say) the public real good.

What was good for the public in the 1960s ... to 20?? will be the same always.

Folks need to accept ....

Re:If nobody bids... Google .... (1)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618275)

Q: Do you really think the FCC is going to pump that money into tax refunds? A: Yes (FCC/Congress), the tax refund is very important to maintaining the _ USA wealth status quo of Corporate-welfare stud servicing (as the farmer _ would say) the public real good. What was good for the public in the 1960s ... to 20?? will be the same always. Folks need to accept ....
Huh?

Re:If nobody bids... Google .... (1)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 6 years ago | (#21621549)

Exactly, as you said, very well stated and politically correct.

I was reminded of the same famous quote by the great flaming bush POTUS ... "Huh?"

The Question was a previous post: "Do you really think the FCC is going to pump that money into tax refunds?"

Yes, I am always highly confused/surprised ... maybe sad/dismayed when speaking kindly of the great and infamous POTUS.

!HAVEFUN!

Re:If nobody bids... Google .... (1)

Lord Flipper (627481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21621691)

Huh?

God Damn!!!! "Huh" is putting it mildly

a hahaa hahah, no kidding!.... That_might have_be_en,,,, the worst syntax and punctuation____f_ck_up, yet scene..(.hereabouts. I got )a feeling a CT scan of that dude's brain might reveal actual physical proof of dyslexia wrapped inside of some sort of House of Mirrors___ shit_uation. On the bright side,
 
Folks,
 
the Shitty Sentence Contest is Over!!!! We Have a Winner!!!!!
 
Congratulations, (Wandering)Point Underscore_Dude!!!

In January Google becomes Self Aware? (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614415)

Google has become self aware. In one month it will initiate a massive nuclear attack on its enemy?

Re:In January Google becomes Self Aware? (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614507)

Fortunately we were smart enough not to let Google hook directly into our defense networks, so no nuclear attack.

Google will instead attack in the only way it can -- by making the top 1000 results for every search point to goatse.cx. Trust me when I say you do NOT want to click "I'm feeling lucky!" come January...

Re:In January Google becomes Self Aware? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615073)

They're into the satellite networks, and they doctor, blur or remove photos by request from multiple governments and militaries. So, assuming they keep some of their cards close to their chest, they have the opportunity to know more about where to look for interesting military targets than any single government does, because they're the ones that are being sent the censor lists.

Re:In January Google becomes Self Aware? (2, Informative)

maeka (518272) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615251)

They're into the satellite networks

No, they buy commercially available satellite (or more often (in urban areas) airplane) photography on the open market. You can too if you are willing to cough up the cash.

Re:In January Google becomes Self Aware? (1)

markswims2 (1187967) | more than 6 years ago | (#21621213)

Are you sure? The Department of Defense uses Google Search Appliances to sort through the millions of "Top Secret" documents acquired over the years. To think that Google doesn't have backdoors is the same as saying that myspace is free of pedophiles.

NBC censors pro-troop ads (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21616259)

NBC IS REFUSING TO RUN PRO-TROOPS ADS [powerlineblog.com] from Freedom's Watch, but you can see them at the link.

They told me that if George W. Bush were reelected we'd see a sort of soft fascism in which corporate media would freeze out views that were politically uncongenial. And they were right!

The ads are surprisingly benign and (one would think) non-controversial. They literally say "Thank You" to the troops and "Happy Holidays". Neither ad takes a pro- or anti-war stance, merely a "support the troops" position. Which is the position we are told both sides believe.

"Freedom of speech: at some of our networks, you can't even buy it!"

Re:NBC censors pro-troop ads (1)

DECS (891519) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616593)

"Support the troops" is such a strong message. It's too bad the government/media is repressing it, because in a world of censorship, we aren't exposed to information.

And "Support the troops" conveys such vital information the uninformed populace needs. Oh, the humanity.

How can we get the word out the troops need support? Perhaps we could tie it into a message that points out the unsupported troops were sent into a sovereign nation with a deliberately false pretext of military urgency, then prevented from doing their job to stabilize Iraq after the invasion, and were then left to watch as the country fell into chaos after the US fired the local police and administrators due to the spectacular incompetence of US warmongers who gave almost no thought to planning a rebuilding effort.

The troops that need support are now sitting in harm's way without the resources and materials to do their job, while highly paid right wing Blackwater fundamentalist religious nuts shoot the fuck out of Iraqi civilians on murder sprees that inflame additional chaos and send the remains of the shattered middle class into the arms of the local fundamentalist religious nuts filling in the power vacuum the US created.

So Support the Troops and pat their heads on TV after they come come in pieces. Then invade Iran and rinse, repeat. And hope a real military situation doesn't unfold elsewhere because our troops are all sunk in an unwinnable war that leaves the US fully unprepared for anything else.

Actually all that information might be too confusing, so just boil it all down to a jingoistic slogan that means nothing and does nothing for soldiers suck in an illegitimate fundamentalist right wing conflict.

How about: Support our 'oops?

Re:NBC censors pro-troop ads (2, Insightful)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21621687)

Agreed.

I'm going to go to hell for saying this but... I actually do have a problem with that message.

Don't get me wrong - I am grateful to our troops. They pay the price for the freedom we enjoy. I have no illusions there, and I'm grateful.

But in the present day, our leaders have sent them to fight a war that is of our making, and was not our business to get involved in. I don't have a problem with thanking the troops. I have a huge problem with the implied endorsement that message has, that we are in a noble war right now, or that we are in any way doing the right thing. We have spent 5 years laying waste to a country that posed no threat to us whatsoever. We have sacrificed ~4000 of our bravest people doing that. And we have killed and displaced well over a million Iraqis in the process. And all of it in the pretext of rescuing a people that did not ask to be rescued, and securing a world that did not ask to be secured. And those people are significantly worse off, and the world is considerably less secure as a result. I have a huge problem with that message.

Still, I hate censorship (I mean, that's loss of freedom right there). So while I say I have a problem with that message, I don't think NBC made the right call.

Re:NBC censors pro-troop ads (0, Flamebait)

scrondle (805647) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619769)

Are you retarded?

Re:In January Google becomes Self Aware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21619205)

Yahoo?

Not a Google Fanboy (5, Insightful)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614441)

It probably doesn't help that assertion that I have two articles on the home page that highlight potential success for the company, but I still realize that they are a company designed to make a profit.

As for the article, I agree that is one of the shrewdest business moves I've seen (that wasn't underhanded, repressive, bookcooking, etc.). They're getting essentially who will be their competition with Android to fund the infrastructure on which Android will make money. All the while the consumer is starting to benefit like crazy from the atmosphere of competition.

It's times like these that almost make you want see some good in the world. Yeah, but then another wiki scandal or RIAA atrocity will pop up on the firehose to dampen then mood. :(

Business (1)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614979)

It would be nice if the networks built effective networks as opposed to trying to become the next Microsoft by controlling all associated markets. Likewise, it would be nice if Google, and other companies, focused on building usable network protocols and tools. It is damn annoying to experience the state of the networks in the US.

But barring pragmatism, somebody disrupting the market by implementing WiMax in major cities would be great.

Re:Not a Google Fanboy (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#21626821)

There's always more positive than negative stuff, in the long run.  Or we wouldn't have this comfy civilization and internet to complain on. :-)

Of course (4, Insightful)

rumith (983060) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614463)

Google has already won. It is no mere coincidence that Verizon and AT&T are opening up their networks [while Sprint participates in the OpenHandset Alliance]. The weak are dragged by their destiny, the strong follow their destiny, and the wise become destiny themselves. Good job Google!

Re:Of course (1)

lorenzino (1130749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614589)

Lol .. if by AT&T you mean cause they use GSM then its not really opening up. At most, it was already open, as anyone who ever used GSM. Anything SIM based is open.Take the sim, and put it in a phone capable of sims, like any nokia I ever heard of.

Re:Of course (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616257)

So you haven't heard of This phone [nokia-asia.com] ?

Re:Of course (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614727)

I am inclined to believe that you are right. But there is another clear winner here. Google supports the F/OSS paradigm in ways that are not overtly apparent. By mild manipulation of the marketplace for the benefit of the Google platform, they have begun the destruction of all that came before. There is NO carrier or phone manufacturer that is currently prepared to deal with F/OSS competitors. I repeat; There is NO carrier or phone manufacturer that is prepared to compete with F/OSS competitors. This will have far reaching implications across the telecommunications industry.
1 - Open handsets means no more lock-in (revenue loss for carriers) and handsets become cheaper.

2 - No lock-in reduces wireless carriers to common carrier status, effectively, allowing for wider provision of wireless data services... AND .... advertising based services.

3 - Carriers will be looking to replace lost revenues as airtime is further comoditized. This may come as a form of wireless broadband access, driving carriers further into the digital networks services arena. Read this as getting the new Razor 3000ip Yahoo! service from Verizon, or perhaps the NoDRM Earthlink Freedom plan with a Nokia handset from AT&T. Or even the 12Gauge ESPN Sports plan from Sprint, with free ESPN handset.

4 - Enhanced choices will instigate further A&M in telecommunications as they fight to get customers on the quadracular or pentacular service plans. The entire thing based on selling ad clients air time on your cell, home phone, television, radio, home entertainment, fridge, car entertainment, and perhaps even your dogs remote finger collar service. While Verizon has a head start with tons of bandwidth to the house to provision all those services, the others are soon to follow. For more information on this, find stories in the way back machine about dark fiber being bought up.

5 - If legislation in North America allows joe bloggs to build and sell handsets, the number of wireless applications could possibly explode, but that greatly depends on UI and functionality. Not something that current clamshell handsets are very good at.

Either way, it looks like the real winner will be the consumer... Thank you Google

Re:Of course (3, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615079)

Two comments:

1. When every service and product on Earth is given away for free to support advertising, I wonder what will be left to advertise...

2. Mr. Albert Einstein, when practicing ancient science, disagrees with your sig.

Re:Of course (2, Funny)

myvirtualid (851756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615677)

Mr. Albert Einstein, when practicing ancient science, disagrees with your sig.

Mr. Garry Wallace, aka Anthony Michael Hall, also disagrees, at least when practicing weird science.

At least that's how we weigh in in my neighbourhood.

Hmm, Kelly LeBrock....

Re:Of course (1)

suggsjc (726146) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615857)

Well, then you have to advertise the advertisers, meaning the advertisers will pay for their advertisements with advertisements and the advertisers advertisers will actually be pushing services which are no doubt also paid for via advertisements. However, some advertisers advertisers will go out on a limb and try to come up with an ad based business model that doesn't involve ads, which at that point in time the universe will implode. Since the last dot-com bubble "burst" we are going to have to come up with a new snarky term to refer to when the new dot-com bubble implodes.

This slashdot post was brought to you by...

Re:Of course (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21617053)

There will always be people and businesses who will pay for a premium service instead of a free ad supported service...
Your never gonna get a decent SLA with an ad supported services, if your paying you can expect and demand a higher class of service and better support.

Re:Of course (2, Funny)

clem (5683) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615375)

s/([^c])ei/$1ie/g; ... PGN
My weird neighbor, Keith, would often deign to weigh-in in a similar vein. But when humans forfeit their reign on matters grammatical, will their feisty reinventions, their foreign automations, seize the veiled aspects of spelling?

Re:Of course (3, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615477)

I will go home from work today, open a 6 pack of my favorite beverage, and try diligently to figure out what in the hell you are talking about :)

Re:Of course (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622493)

he was using a bunch of words with ei in them to point out the fact that the regex in your sig wouldn't work.

Re:Of course (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21623071)

Slashdot needs a UID battle system, when someone says something rampantly stupid or incoherent you can fight them for their UID.

Well played, sir! Well played, indeed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21615843)

That has to be the single most exceptional reply I've seen all day. ;)

Re:Of course (1)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615941)

1 - Open handsets means no more lock-in (revenue loss for carriers) and handsets become cheaper.
No it doesn't. Open handsets means I can take my device to another carrier, but in order to get service with that carrier, I need to sign a contract for TWO YEARS! I fail to see how there is no lock-in.

Re:Of course (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616173)

Go month-to-month or simply purchase a preset amount of minutes. No need to make a 2 year commitment.

What google really wants, or rather, fears... (1)

big_paul76 (1123489) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619455)

I wonder if what google fears, long-term, is a scenario like the one alluded to in John Walker's "Digital Imprimatur", combined with a non-neutral net.

http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/digital-imprimatur/ [fourmilab.ch]

A scenario whereby Verizon, Comcast, AT & T, et. al. have a shakedown-type operation, if you don't want your customers delayed getting to google, pay extra. The cartel of ISPs collude (or, if no collusion/conspiracy, they all just come to the same conclusion as to what strategy they should pursue) to bugger with anything new google develops, like say a VoIP client etc.

Between the 700mhz spectrum and all the dark fiber that google's been buying, maybe they're doing a contingency plan so that, if necessary, they could do without Verizon/comcast/AT&T et. al.

Re:Of course (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614735)

It's not every day a Unix sig makes me laugh out loud. Thanks. =p

Re:Of course (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614795)

AT&T is just doing the "me too" thing for the technologically challenged, even though their network has always been open ever since the move to GSM.

Re:Of course (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615003)

>The weak are dragged by their destiny, the strong follow their destiny, and the wise become destiny themselves.

Oh, you got that fortune cookie too?

Re:Of course (1)

Dash Hash (955484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619561)

And the insane keep the wise looking over their shoulders.

It only takes one company willing to stick their neck out to throw a massive wrench in the best of plans.

Of course, I don't seen any of the current potential bidders taking many, if any, risks with this, but there are other companies out there who might be willing to risk a bid, if only to to cause chaos and confusion.

Sounds like Cringely from months ago (1)

pyite69 (463042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614541)

He said the exact same thing. However, the final agreement seems to have made the open access requirements significantly less open, so that may be why Google is getting more serious about it.

Freedom Fighters (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21614555)

LAWLz at Omaha.

Are you kidding? (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614637)

If they have their own network, they have the last mile. They would have the means and funds to become a 3rd tier 1 provider. Only they'd be the tier 1 provider with access to every home in the country. They could dictate net neutrality at that point.

Re:Are you kidding? (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614723)

They could dictate net neutrality at that point.
For OR against. Yes, they say "do no evil" but they are a business and have shareholders they will have to one day answer to. To blindly trust a company, even Google, is just silly.

Re:Are you kidding? (2, Interesting)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614761)

Exactly. Google's biggest concern with net neutrality is that they'd have to pay for their service to keep running at the volume that it does. So, they're trying to go the way of the old world millionaires - buying up every single resource needed to deliver their product (or service) from cradle to the grave. They aren't going to charge themselves a premium if people use their spectrum to deliver their own service - they don't have to. Its just like when early American capitalists bought up not only the oil wells, but the railroads between them and the refineries, then the refineries. No one can impede on them if they control everything they need to deliver their service.

Third??? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614859)

They would have the means and funds to become a 3rd tier 1 provider.

Wikipedia says that there are already nine [wikipedia.org] tier 1 providers. So you must mean something else.

Re:Third??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21615757)

Wikipedia says that there are already nine tier 1 providers.

That's what the cabal wants you to think.

Re:Third??? (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616009)

I am too used to thinking of Global Crossing and Level 3 as the tier 1. The others are telephone companies. I guess you can count Qwest as backbone first and long-distance carrier second, but I think they have the least contact with retail (as in consumer market) internet access -- they are more of a b2b provider. Ok, I know this is not precise, but I am pretty sure Global Crossing and Level 3 is where your traffic will end up if small to medium business providing services to most of the end-user Internet.

Before all of the Google skeptics come out... (4, Insightful)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614691)

You have to admit that, compared to pretty much all other billion dollar corporations out there, Google is one of the most true to Slashdot's ideals (keep everything open).

You can complain about their purchase of YouTube, their ads in the sidebar for google.com, GMail's vulnerabilities, trying to capitalize on a wireless spectrum auction, etc. etc. etc...

I haven't found one thing yet to make me want to *truly* hate Google. The fact is, yes - they *are* a for-profit company. BUT, that doesn't mean they are evil. Everyone has to make money, and making a sh*tload of money isn't so bad if you think about it, either. You just have to keep your morals and business ethics in check while you do so.

AFAIK, Google has done that thus far. Nobody pays to upload to YT, text-ads in google.com are completely unintrusive by design, all manmade software has vulnerabilities at one point or another, and...well I sure would love to make a lot of money, too. Doesn't mean you have to sell your soul to do it.

Re:Before all of the Google skeptics come out... (4, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614951)

You can complain about their purchase of YouTube, their ads in the sidebar for google.com, GMail's vulnerabilities, trying to capitalize on a wireless spectrum auction, etc. etc. etc...

Why thankyou, gracious sir..

I haven't found one thing yet to make me want to *truly* hate Google

I find it disturbing that so many define their relationship with companies in the IT world in terms of hatred (whether lack of or intensity of). Ever really hated? I have, its something of an extreme potition that does not, as a rule, provide comfort in the long term. The most I could ever feel towards an IT company is irritation, and my most extreme reaction would be abandonment of their product. I wouldn't waste the effort to go beyond that.

The fact is, yes - they *are* a for-profit company. BUT, that doesn't mean they are evil

There you go again. Evil? Define it, go on. Does *not* being for profit make you automatically good? (which you infer by your feeling the need to defend it) I has a doubt on that count. Unpleasant behaviour is more often inspired by status and power than money. You can get status or power by working in a charity shop or volunteering at a hospital.

Everyone has to make money, and making a sh*tload of money isn't so bad if you think about it, either

A meaningless statement. The mix of barstards and nice people among those I know is pretty much independant of fiscal status. Getting rich won't make you bad, nor will being poor. Wanting to be rich and acheiving it, while likely to inspire envy and adverse comment, is not as likely to change fundamental character traits as people think.

You just have to keep your morals and business ethics in check while you do so.

Do you? Sounds great, but lets be honest, to succeed you need to be a bit evil. Nice people get bulldozed aside. OK I don't mean it's ok to be a complete asshole, but predatory tendancies are an essential trait for success, or you'll never make it, even if all you do with it is defend yourself from the people who'll take what you have given half a chance. I have a friend who is a great bloke, nice to his customers, and going places. He's got a certain predatory side to him though, it's easy to spot, but you wouldn't want to cross him in business.

Re:Before all of the Google skeptics come out... (2, Insightful)

rhakka (224319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21617129)

It's only true that you have to be "predatory" if you do not have a service or product of true value to capitalize on, or if you do not know how to capitalize on said product or service. If you actually have value on your side, you just have inform people, you don't have to bamboozle them.

Note that "nice" does not mean "naive", or "trusting". It just means honestly wanting to do what's best for everyone, not just yourself. And it is not only possible to do that in business, I would argue it is ultimately the best strategy... especially if "score" is kept by any metric in addition to the flow of money.

It may be true that most businessmen are a little evil (as I get further into it, not as many as I once thought, but some for sure). It may be true you don't get to the top without "stepping on some heads". But then, you don't have to be at the top to be successful in business or life, and a more realistic measure may find a person quite willing to forgo evil and still succesful because of it (not in spite of it).

In short; greed makes evil necessary, not business. Anything else can be served simply with a fair viewpoint, instead of a selfish one.

that's my two cents anyway. My biz is doing quite well so far and things look good for the future too, as long as our service continues to have value to the marketplace, and I'm paying attention to see if that changes... we'll see what my tune is if it does ;)

Re:Before all of the Google skeptics come out... (2, Insightful)

AeroIllini (726211) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619425)

Sounds great, but lets be honest, to succeed you need to be a bit evil. Nice people get bulldozed aside. OK I don't mean it's ok to be a complete asshole, but predatory tendancies are an essential trait for success, or you'll never make it, even if all you do with it is defend yourself from the people who'll take what you have given half a chance.
There is a large difference between predation and ambition.

You do not have to destroy your opponents to succeed.

Re:Before all of the Google skeptics come out... (1)

Blackhalo (572408) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620641)

"I find it disturbing that so many define their relationship with companies in the IT world in terms of hatred (whether lack of or intensity of)." Come on. Don't fuck it up does not mean anything?

Re:Before all of the Google skeptics come out... (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615047)

I agree completely. Google has done a very good job of not being evil. However many people see their ubiquitous presence and immediately go OH SHIT! Stop them! Granted there is precedent in the software industry to suggest that this is the appropriate course of action but by and large Google has not given us reason to. I like Google, I use them over Yahoo because I feel I get better results with Google and I like my homepage on Google better. By extension I use gmail as my personal email. Would I use Gmail as a business account for sensitive information? Not bloody likely. Google is so far a good corporation and I wonder how far they will be able to extend themselves before they lose their edge (and profits if they have any, I don't honestly know if they even do). I like Google, I use Google, but like all large corporate entities I don't completely trust Google to do what is in my best interests every second of every day, they are in it for themselves too.

Re:Before all of the Google skeptics come out... (1)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616041)

All of the above, with economy of words:

Google is not Monsanto. :-)

Re:Before all of the Google skeptics come out... (1)

rtechie (244489) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618975)

I haven't found one thing yet to make me want to *truly* hate Google.
The Google business model is to gather as much information as possible about people on the Internet and then sell it to marketing companies and governments. Google has given information on individuals (normally dissidents) to totalitarian governments, who then used that information to imprison and kill them.

Basically, Google is a massive advertising company whose job it is to help other people sell you shit by telling them personal information about you. I don't really see why I should *LIKE* such an outfit.

Re:Before all of the Google skeptics come out... (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619085)

The Google business model is to gather as much information as possible about people on the Internet and then sell it to marketing companies and governments

I'd like to see proof of this...

Why not bid to win? (4, Interesting)

theoddball (665938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614729)

A lot of analysts are certain Google's not bidding to win, just to make sure they hit the reserve price and ensure openness provisions kick in. Everybody's sure Google doesn't want to be a network operator.

And they may well be right on that count -- but who says they don't want to be a network *architect*? Google has, as TFA points out, $13b in cash. They could easily afford the final sticker price on the licenses, then lease the spectrum to players who have to play on *precisely* their terms (which probably entails not just open access, but a dumb pipe -- just providing bandwidth, instead of mobile phone service.) That pushes the buildout cost away from GOOG, but still might allow for a hellacious ROI.

I can't take credit for these insights/speculations myself -- check out Harold Feld's take [wetmachine.com] and a great deal more detail.

Re:Why not bid to win? (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615259)

Thanks for that link, interesting blog. I still don't see why we're auctioning off this spectrum and hoping that the winner will do the right thing, when the FCC could KEEP the spectrum, LEASE it to the network providers, and MANDATE that they keep it open. I guess I should be grateful they didn't just hand it to Haliburton for Xmas.

Re:Why not bid to win? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615799)

Govenment needs the money. Tax-and-spend Democrats and Borrow-and-spend Republicans and united with a President who does not include cost of a damned war in the regular budget. Why would they do anything that benefits the citizens in the long run? Sell whatever they can to the highest bidder and then they will make election promises, "If you elect me I will rein in the out-of-control Washington and make those damned corporations pay dearly..."

Re:Why not bid to win? (1)

dogs4ar (1072988) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619555)

Yeah, it's a pretty messed up situation. I was reminded of this [americanprogress.org] article a while back when wondering why the FCC insists on auctioning off spectrum, rather than keeping it, forcing some rules onto spectrum users, and licensing retailers/end-users.

I agree with the Feld/MAP analysis: Google will build the architecture, then get a bunch of also-rans to actually sell the service on to end-users. This situation is analogous to the previous ISP golden age, back when the power of AOL, Prodigy, and CompuServe was waning. Suddenly, all of these little ISP's appeared, each offering dial-up at $15-20 a month. Hopefully, Google will usher in a new golden age, but with a little bit faster speeds (we're already 16th in the OECD. How much slower can we get?)

How hard will it be to build the infrastructure? First, Google could pull a Cisco, and outsource the construction, just slapping their name on the finished product. Second, we're talking about 700MHz, as in UHF. This will be a boon to all (7) of the RF-geeks out there just itching to build UHF transceivers. There are many possibilities, and depending on what level of control Google chooses to exercise, we could see a lot of antennas popping up in odd places. Don't forget the UHF...public access channels!

Why would Google build it? Why not? They build everything else themselves. Servers, switches, talk of renewable energy (yes, they blow a lot of hot air, but what corporation doesn't). They've figured out that the best way to stay in the game is to not rely on their "friends" but to bring competence in-house. This has probably had a negative effect on the rest of the industry (someone should do a study on this). If all the best minds are going to Google, then the rest are...dumb? I don't know. It's better than the best and the brightest going into the Pentagon, at least.

Since the FCC isn't going to collapse overnight, we're probably stuck with this model for a while. Auctions will be with us until the general public figures out that auctions are a pretty pathetic way of distributing our precious natural resources.

Disclaimer: I actually hate Google. I just hate AT&T and Verizon more.

Re:Why not bid to win? (1)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622189)

That has been my own personal speculation as well:

1] These are practically a license to print money. Buy the spectrum, then license it out to third parties, and make money without a costly network build-out or much of any other activity, really.
2] Use the frequencies as leverage to get the people you license (for $$$) to use it to play ball on your terms.

The question I'm wondering is...

What would it cost if you wanted a good chance at winning ALL of the spectrum? And how many years would it take to break even on that investment?

Re:Why not bid to win? (1)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622321)

Or another strategy...

Bid and win enough licenses to prevent the other players from being able to assemble a national network, without dealing with Google for the missing pieces. At which point they can negotiate their terms. Could be a play for long-term influence over the cellular industry in the US. Which would totally play into Google's long term strategy, since they are planning to push mobile specific services, advertising, etc.

Printer Friendly links are obnoxious (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614763)

It's annoying to click on a link and have a print dialog pop up. Link to the regular page, please.

Re:Printer Friendly links are obnoxious (4, Insightful)

randyest (589159) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614941)

In my opinion clicking "Cancel" once is less annoying than clicking "NEXT PAGE" through 3 pages (in this case; it's often far more) and waiting for ads and "sidebar links" to load and clutter the screen.

Please continue to link to print pages for multiple-page stories.

Another idea for corporations (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21614957)

Instead of creating another cell phone service, couldn't they create a general purpose band for hobbyists like the 2.4Ghz band? It could be reserved for UAV's, personal ultra wide band networks, or hobbyists. There are lots of possibilities besides cell phones.

Re:2.4 Ghz (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615149)

This may be offtopic but, about 2.4 Ghz, does anybody else think it's kinda...peculiar to use the same frequency which microwave ovens use to cook :)

Add Net Neutrality to the mix. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21614961)

I believe net neutrality may be a key factor in Google's willingness to become a network provider. If the traditional telcos start putzing with the packets, placing artificial barriers on the flow of data, then the only way to break the barriers is to either enact legislation, or by-pass the networks having the barriers.

If memory serves me, wasn't Google buying up gobs and gobs of dark fiber networks? If this is the case, then couldn't they light the fiber, using it as a backbone, and use the wireless spectrum for the endpoints - creating a massive Googlenet?

Now, add the much talked about gPhone and Google's demonstrated desire to offer free WiFi and you have a very enticing way to attract customers - which is really what Google wants...more eyes on more advertisements.

Either way, it is a win-win-win situation for Google.

I think it is for navigation. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615039)

I see other uses for this bandwidth than traditional cell phones.
Navigation and search go hand and hand.
I see this being more for search and teaming up with the car makers. Forget DVD updates and all that mess. Not only that but it could monitor where you drive at all times. Not for spying "But but it could be used for that" but for routing.
By seeing how local people get from point a to point b Google can find the optimum routes. Then you add in real time traffic monitoring based on vehicle speed an location and your all set. Next step is to provide "entertainment" live video and audio feeds to replace XM radio and your DVD system for the kids.
What about Google TV?
Google is an advertising company so having Google TV is logical.

Re:I think it is for navigation. (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616781)

Google TV will be online, and it already started when they bought YouTube.

Re:I think it is for navigation. (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21618535)

It only works well if you have broadband.
Imagine a device like AppleTV that uses this spectrum to provide a WiMax like connection. As a bonus you can get broadband.

Re:I think it is for navigation. (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21619337)

Google's got plenty of fiber, and this spectrum could easily be pushed into service serving streaming video. This is actually starting to look like Google is planning to use the spectrum instead of just leasing it for gigabucks.

700 MHz Spectrum (0)

c0p0n (770852) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615043)

Will it be able to run Doom?

Re:700 MHz Spectrum (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615813)

A 486 can run doom. A 486 DX2 will run doom well. What planet were you born on?

Re:700 MHz Spectrum (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616283)

You forgot the 486 DX, which can run Doom moderately well.

lame (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21615253)

Google is shife. Why should any company invest that enormous amount of money if some other company is just going to come behind them and ninja on to their network. I hope they rule not to open it up and google is stuck with nothing.

Bigger Players? (1)

Fysiks Wurks (949375) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615723)

Everyone is so focused on Google spectrum chatter they forget that the minimum but of 4.6 billion is not an astronomical sum with respect to current corporate conditions. You don't go to an auction and blab about what your willing to pay for the item of interest - all your competitors now have some critical information on what you are willing to pay. Who may be lurking in the shadows that could also purchase the spectrum space? Let the conspiracies start: Microsoft, GE, Exxon-Mobile, Apple, Hedge Fund companies, Lockheed, McDonald-Douglas, Motorola...

I bet there are may players we are not discussing that are holding their cards close.

Re:Bigger Players? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21618171)

Asshole.

Google network (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21615751)

Hasn't GOOGLE already built-out, and don't they already run their own ( backbone ) network? It's this current bidding only about the "last mile"?

Google Will Own Spectrum (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616433)

Google owns a lot of fiber WANs, a telco operations system, and all kinds of content positioned to deliver a modern version of an "open AOL" that incorporates the entire Internet's content, to compete with AOL, MSN, Verizon, AT&T, the cablecos, and now finally the "last mile" of wireless/mobile. They're going to own spectrum, as surely as they own the other infrastructure they could be outsourcing with effectively the same content/transaction/community model. They have proven in all those other holdings that they want to own them.

And then I hope they use that even stronger position to prove, by using it to compete most effectively, that all those other network operators have to open their networks to equal access.

Especially the mobile networks. Could you imagine if you had to pay "roaming charges" every time your packets deviated between remote hosts (eg. websites) from the default route initially found at the time you registered with your ISP? The "Internet" would never have gotten off the ground. Freed from that kind of shortsighted proprietary greed, mobile (and just wireless) networks with flat rates and unbundled access, connections and content services would explode like the Internet did. All that "available roaming capacity" in the segregated radio networks is unused capacity and reliable redundancy. I hope Google forces that open, and I expect owning one will make it easier for them to do so.

Google Intends to Win (5, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616437)

People forget the advantage of the 700mhz spectrum. It provides close to a 30 mile range, whereas cellular towers in the other parts of the spectrum top out at a few miles. If Google takes all their dark fiber, light it up and build towers, or better yet hook into the current TV transmision towers the capital expense will be 1/4 what it takes to build out a cellular network, simply because they will need 1/4 the towers. Set a price of $30 a month for unlimited access (VOIP and data) and they will absolutely kill verizion, att, comcast and every other internet and phone provider. Not only that but they would probably make a fortune on the investment. All these articles about Google NOT bidding is simply stock analysts trying to convince the market that Google won't enter the market and that the incumbent providers are still a good investment.

Frankly I think they will bid, and it will be a very serious bid meant on winning. And after they win and build the network out no other provider will be able to go against network neutrality as if they do Google will run ads about switching to Google Internet for unrestricted internet. Not only that but they will likely drive the price of mobile internet down such that everyone can afford it, something they VERY much want (think google maps and search for local businesses, competition against the local yellow pages). Think about cheap unlimited mobile Internet that just happens to be google based and serves advertisements based on where you are. Imagine driving by a store and having your phone pop up and advertisement (to that store) for a product you were searching for on the Internet earlier along with a map of the store to show you where it is in the store and how much it costs.

I think it would be crazy for them NOT to make a serious bid and win.

Re:Google Intends to Win (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630663)

The only issue with that plan is that while in theory you can get the coverage with 1/4th the towers you might not be able to get the capcity.

In many areas existing cell phone providers have to put in more towers than needed for coverage just so that they can run everything at reduced power and get less interference.

If you have 22MHz in bandwidth, and split it up among 1000 users, now each have 22KHz of bandwidth - which is probably marginal for voice (I am not an expert). If you have 100,000 users each would only get 200Hz of bandwidth, and I don't think even Google will find some way to pull that off.

There are a lot of cell phones in a 30 mile radius.

The reality is that you'll more towers than that. Granted, the 30 mile spacing would be really nice for rural coverage.

building a network is hard? (4, Insightful)

funkman (13736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616625)

TFA says "Owning and operating a network, on the other hand, could make for a costly and distracting scenario."

Because if there is one thing Google doesn't know how to do, its build networks with lots of computers and network them together.

loss (1)

kurtis25 (909650) | more than 6 years ago | (#21616963)

I don't see Google building a network. I see them driving up the price a bit to force another company into a difficult financial situation then making them an offer to make the service Good. Since the other company will be financial strained they will be forced to take Google's offer. Just like my website isn't hosted at Google but I use Google tools to make it good. My phone won't be hosted at Google, ATT will just be forced to use Google tools to make it good. Meanwhile ATT gets my monthly check and Google gets my ad revenue with a little money tossed ATT's way for good measure. I pay GoDaddy to host my site. I use Feedburner for my RSS, and bloggers interface for my blog. I pay ATT for my phone, I use gmail for my email and when I see and ad ATT gets a little money because Google just used bandwidth. I dunno I'm not explaining well.

In case the details of Auction 73 are a mystery .. (3, Informative)

mvea (158406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21617019)

... a writer at OmniNerd put together a good article on Auction 73 [omninerd.com] outlining why the FCC is auctioning the 700Mhz spectrum as well as how they're doing it in a competitive and fair fashion. He even walks a fictitious company through the auction process to detail what is involved for bidders.

Google what? (1)

Blackhalo (572408) | more than 6 years ago | (#21620625)

It sure would be nice if Google were to win something .007Mhz or something. They could parlay that into SOMETHING. I'll be dammed if they do not launch their own cell network or the like. Please got let Google kill Sprint Verizon AT&T or something. Those providers suck.
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