Washington Post


In the remaining weeks of his tenure, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin will push for a free, no-porn wireless Internet network across the nation, according to the agency. Martin is expected to put his proposal for the free Internet network on the agency’s Dec. 18 meeting agenda despite criticism by wireless operators like T-Mobile, who say using the spectrum could interfere with their new high-speed data network. T-Mobile, a unit of Germany’s Deutsche Telecom, spent $4 billion for nearby spectrum and has disputed a report by the FCC that rejected the firm’s concerns of interference.
President-elect Barack Obama has named two telecom industry and policy veterans and a leader of Google’s philanthropy arm to craft the new administration’s high-tech policy priorities. The policy working group on Technology, Innovation and Government Reform will “develop proposals and plans from the Obama Campaign for action during the Obama-Biden Administration,” according to the president-elect’s transition web site www.change.gov. The authors of what could be sweeping changes in broadband rules, privacy and government transparency include: –Blair Levin, a telecom investment analyst at Stifel Nicolaus and former chief of staff to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt.
According to this article that appeared today in India’s Business Standard, TRAI seems to be considering using a base price + beauty pagent mechanism to award 5 licenses (of 5MHz each) for companies to introduce 3G services. The prduence of using beauty pagents needs to be questioned. The failures of 3G auctions in Europe in 2000 has been mentioned as one of the reasons for opting for a beauty pagent. However the failures of those auctions stemmed from operators’ over-estimating the potential of a new and untested service. It is unlikely that operators would make the same mistake again – my argument being once-bitten, twice shy.