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And the prize for best headline of the week goes to…


Bob Cringely, for “Is Google on Crack?” Bob looks at the Google offer for spectrum, and sums it up like this:

These are Internet rules Schmidt is asking for, Internet Engineering Task Force-like rules, that Google wants to apply to this fresh patch of wireless connectivity, turning what would have been yet another mobile phone system into a mobile Internet. The ideas aren’t unique to Google and have been pushed for some time by folks including former Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale and former FCC commissioner Reed Hundt. They represent a bold idea that would change forever the way phones are used in the U.S., especially with landline connections in decline.

However, Bob doesn’t think that Google really knows what it’s getting itself into:

By this time it should be clear that I generally support what Google has proposed and think it is a very good idea for us all. So why, then, does the headline on this column suggest that Google is on crack to have even made such a proposal?

Because they don’t know who they are messing with, that’s why.

I am 100 percent behind Google’s four conditions, but I see very little likelihood that they will be accepted by the full commission. I also see that they have slightly moved the wireless incumbents, who are mean and spiteful companies and WILL HAVE THEIR REVENGE.

I’m not sure about this, to be honest. Yes. the telcos are the largest ISPs in the country. But they are also under huge pressure on price, as customers get used to “free” calls over the internet. That continual downward pressure is going to hurt their ability to bid high for the 700MHz spectrum, too, because there is little way that I can see for them to monetize that spectrum beyond offering services which they already offer, cheaper, elsewhere.

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