back to article US senator accuses FCC of rigging 700MHz auction

Wireless watchers are still waiting for the final results of the The Great American Wireless Auction, but that hasn't stopped at least one US Senator from dubbing the FCC's $20bn bid-off "a disaster". Yesterday, as bids continued to trickle in for the so-called 700-MHz band - a juicy portion of the US airwaves - Senator Mark …


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  1. Herby

    FCC has already raked in close to $20bn

    Now if they would only put it to good use! The digital TV mess that is coming in 12 months is a train wreck waiting to happen.

    One must remember that it is OUR (the US taxpayers) money first and foremost!

    Of course, the high bidder will get "unlimited" use of the airwaves, but will charge us peons by the minute for its use!

    And so it goes.....

  2. Chad H.
    Thumb Down

    just political postuing,

    So, some small time senitor wants a bit of limelight bashing the beurocracy. Bashing "Big Government" (ie- any government department doing its job) is popular with the conservative base, I dont see it as any more than that.

  3. Joe Mostowey

    FCC does a fukiyakiyokomoto

    what's the fuss? Why would the FCC handle the auction any different than they have handled competition out in the rest of the USA?

    Take throttling of data:

    Directpc has done it forever. They drop you to dialup speeds after just a very few megs of downloads. Verizon wireless drops you completely after 5 gigs of download in 30 days.

    Most rural areas in virginia have no real choice of providers. Dialup is the ultimate throttle, and the alternatives are really not attractive. Where I live, Cable internet is 2 miles away, has been for 15 YEARS and cox cable has no plans to expand. The 47 people in the 2 mile area will not provide "enough" profit.

    The competition for cox Cable, At 49 dollars for unlimited internet at 15MPS, VS Verizon's 5 gigs/30 days limited internet at 715 KPS for 49 dollars, or Huges Net at 59 dollars for 0.5 gig per day downloads at 1.5 MPS and then you are dropped to 56KPS speed, shows there is no real competition.

    We are always throttled, and enraged when we learn Great Britian is 100 MPS always, or Japan just launched a satellite with 1.5 GPS download speeds.

    Virginia is behind many 3rd world countries -thanks to our free market system, where a single company comes in and grabs all the high profit areas effectively shutting out competitors by making it too expensive for anyone else to provide service outside the densely populated sections.

    Where has the FCC been for the last 15 years????

  4. Dan Beshear
    Paris Hilton

    Pryor is a conservative?!?

    I guess Chad H missed the third paragraph of the story, wherein is mentioned that Pryor is a Democrat. Pryor scored an 18 out of 100 (100=uber-Conservative, 0=Commie-loving flag-burner) on the Club for Growth scorecard. Calling Pryor a conservative is like calling Paris Hilton smart, pretty, or talented; it just doesn't wash.

  5. Mage Silver badge

    100Mbps UK

    typically the UK users get 1/3rd to 1/2th speed they sold, which is typically upto 12Mbps.

    Irish users of DSL, Metro (10.5Ghz system) and Cable get most of the speed they are sold which is typically 3Mbps, but up to 12Mbps is available.

    But much smaller percentage of Irish user can get Internet at all (in bottom 4 in Europe).

    Japan top apartment speed is 100Mbps.

  6. MarmiteToast


    Generally all true except about japan...

    Standard apartment speed is 100Mbit/s and 1Gbit/s costs the same that our 1/3-1/2 speed 8bmit costs in the UK. You can still get 10Mbit but there's not much cost saving IIRC.

  7. Frank Bough

    I'm no Virgin Schill but...

    I get exactly 10Mbps with my 10Mbps Virgin connection - simple as that. Please don't lump all the UK BB providers together, or else competition will NEVER improve our lot.

    Maybe some people should just try and understand that their 'free' BB has to be paid for somehow, and that if they want decent bandwidth they're better off paying for it than hoping for it. I pay £25pcm for my 10meg - when I signed up with NTL it was 1meg, so that means it's been speeded up now by a factor of 10 over the course of 6.5 years at the same price. It's not Moore's law, but it's decent enough.

  8. Chad H.
    Thumb Down

    @ Dan

    I didnt say he was a conservative, I said its popular with conservatives. To get elected, you cant alienate one side and not the other, you need to draw people over from the other camp. Conservative voters like people bashing big government, whether their normally liberal or not.

  9. Scoured Frisbee


    "Virginia is behind many 3rd world countries -thanks to our free market system, where a single company comes in and grabs all the high profit areas effectively shutting out competitors by making it too expensive for anyone else to provide service outside the densely populated sections."

    Of course if the market was unregulated other companies would be allowed to compete in the high profit areas. As it is the state and municipalities make the decision who gets service and who does not by designating an area provider that gets the monopoly. If you want to switch the area cable provider from Cox to someone who promises to cover your area, complain to your city representation, who will soundly ignore you 'cause they get all kinds of free stuff to keep Cox... I mean will give due heed to your concern and thank you for your trouble.

  10. Paul

    @Scoured Frisbee

    "complain to your city representation"

    Who will definitely ignore him, since he stated he's in a *rural* area. Sheesh.

    Even if they listened, no company will promise to "cover his area" unless they're required to by law, or heavily subsidised (as is the case now for landline telephone carriers with the universal service fund).

    "Of course if the market was unregulated other companies would be allowed to compete in the high profit areas."

    Except that they wouldn't. They wouldn't compete in the high profit areas because they'd have to spend the (large amounts of) money to build out a network, *and* try to beat the incumbents on price and service. That's a high barrier to entry, and hurts the bottom line too much. Better to stick it to the customers you already have captive, and without regulation they'd be able to charge whatever they please.

    They wouldn't bother with rural areas (poor return on investment), so nothing would change. Maybe the incumbent operators in such areas would even pull out, because operating there isn't profitable without subsidy, and without regulation they have no reason to operate anywhere that they don't profit from.

    Less regulation isn't the answer here, we need better-thought-out regulation which allows for real competition, doesn't get in the way *too* much, yet prevents obvious abuses. Something like local loop unbundling perhaps?

    It *is* madness that in a supposed free-market economy, such a major part of the communications infrastructure is operated almost entirely by local monopolies. As long as that remains the case we'll never see progress.

  11. Joe Mostowey

    complain to your city representation

    Our local reps can't require anything as the House of representatives pretty much castrated them on the issue. Cable and the credit industry have free rein, as they own many of our politicians from the ground up.

    I have written, pleaded in person and via email and telephone, recieved many promises of " we'll do something soon- it's being drafted as we speak-" only to see days become weeks become years become decades and no movement on the issue.

    It's silly that the internet is not declared a utility, that newspapers and other ad-financed business who's web presence could be boosted by the rural people who have no access to major stores -especially the video and music sites- ignore the loss of such a potential market.

    Many of us have stopped reading online sites, because due to the content rich webpages it takes so long for an article to load on your computer, we become frustrated and simply don't go there. The new york times and the washington post are excellent examples, any article takes several minutes to load, and are often cut off because of the timeouts on the server, which to add insult to injury is made even worse by their unblockable popups advertizing NETFLCKS new internet downloads! Sheeesh!

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