Airwaves Sale to Break Open Cell Phone Biz

New access could loosen grip of telecom giants
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2007 4:35 AM CDT
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin J. Martin, left, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, in this Feb. 1, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – An auction of government-owned frequencies could break open the cell phone industry and loosen the grip of giant telecom carriers, the Wall Street Journal reports. The FCC is likely to set aside a band of radio-spectrum frequencies for an open network free of restraints imposed by Verizon and AT&T.  

Some $15B worth of frequencies is up for grabs because they're no longer used by television. Google and other companies have complained that telecom giants are stifling competition by restricting which devices and what services can be used on their networks. "This is probably the best opening for this network issue for the next couple of years," an industry expert said.