Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Google On Wholesale Wireless

Thoughtful piece on upcoming FCC spectrum auction by Google's council.

What's fascinating (well, in the same sense as watching a loop of a pratfall) is the "business knows best" themes vis a vis public policy.

Google fer sure will serve its own interests but at least the concept of bandwidth liquidity and reduced friction (prayer here) could point to more rapid innovation and market entry by new competitors, such as:
  • peer to peer small cell networks
  • gigabit (wave hands here) overlay networks
  • the favorable innovations driven by open access, in that I don't have to master, lock up, and control the entire application, end device, and bandwidth melange. (NB: Read your cellphone contract and just try to download verboten things.... like new non incumbent approved software.)
The paradox is delicious: one FCC commissioner touts that government should be totally hands off and let "the market" work.

Groovy, if that market were competitive.

Groovy if that market were provisioning into rural sites in the US. Groovy if that market worked. Back when, I recall a quote in an econ course.... "markets are great slaves but horrible masters."

Now, the market does work pretty well, but there are cases of market failure or cases of public policy wherein the innovation can be supported through enlightened government policy.... even if that policy is just to enforce playing with each other nicely and not kicking the public's back seat.... cause we're not there yet, are we Bub?

REA, anyone?

The incumbents, I perceive, have residual DNA from the time that ISDN was hoped to sell at 25 or 50 cents per minute.

The further rationale that "we have invested in the build out" could well be emended with a view of that "investment" as sunk cost, expense, not investment, and perhaps representative of obsolete technology.

This is precisely why I ran screaming from Macro to Micro economics back when I had hair and why I should really think about getting away from strong coffee.

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