FCC Ruling to Test Google Power

Techies’ lobbying tactics on wireless auction vex old guard
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 30, 2007 9:53 AM CDT
Two women walk past a Google sign at the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, July 17, 2007. Google Inc. is expected to release quarterly earnings on Thursday, July 19, 2007. (AP Photo/Jeff...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The FCC will rule tomorrow on whether an upcoming airwaves auction will require its winner to build an open-access network, and the verdict will test Google’s lobbying prowess, the Washington Post reports. Google has been pushing the open network aggressively, to the chagrin of AT&T and Verizon,  mustering support  from public interest groups and consumer advocates.

In its first major foray into the regulatory wars, Google offered to spend at least $4.6 billion at the auction for the airwaves to build the open network, if the FCC rules in its favor. The company spent only 3% of the lobbying dollars that AT&T dropped in 2006, but its unconventional strategy, deploying bloggers, engineers and even game theorists, seems to have scored with the FCC chairman.