Republican Leaders Oppose Google Wireless Plan
Concepts of open access for 700 MHz wireless spectrum coming up for auction have Republicans screaming mad. Let’s play my favorite game, Follow The Money.
The story: Google offered to bid a minimum of $4.6 billion for that spectrum, provided the FCC requires bidders to compelled to follow concepts of open access and services.
Presumed winners: Google, consumers.
Presumed losers: Telecoms and the Congressmen they fund.
Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Joe Barton (R-Tex.) want to see the auction go to the highest bidder with no strings attached. A report on Internet News cited the two Congressmen as opposing Google’s ideas about the future of the 700 MHz wireless spectrum:
“I think the fewer fetters you have in terms of conditions on the auction, the more open the process and the better its going to be,” (Barton) said. “I also think you’re going to get more money if you do it that way.”
“The free market works best. If Google is really right that there is market demand for their model, they should be lining up to bid in a fair auction, without these requirements,” Upton said.
Game time, folks, courtesy of the fine people behind OpenSecrets. Let’s start with the Texan. Among Barton’s top 20 contributors for the most recent election cycle, we have Comcast (#1), Verizon (tied for 10th), AT&T (14), and Sprint Nextel (tied for 15th).
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, along with AT&T and Comcast, rates as one of Barton’s all-time biggest campaign contributors.
Now let’s take a look at Upton’s top 20 in the recent cycle. AT&T (2), Verizon (3), National Cable & Telecommunications Association (6), Comcast (tied for 7th), Qwest (tied for 7th), and Sprint Nextel (tied for 19th).
Upton’s first and second best career contributors have been AT&T and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, respectively.
I’d like to note to our readers that I didn’t even bother checking OpenSecrets for the information when I started writing this article. When I got to the point where I wanted to include OpenSecrets data, I looked it up then.
I knew what I’d find before looking, just as with every other time I’ve written something about the tech industry and Capitol Hill’s opinions about it. As Arthur Conan Doyle wrote in the Sherlock Holmes’ classic, A Study in Scarlet, “There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before.”
Barton’s and Upton’s opinions sounded like they came from men whose campaigns received substantial backing from organizations sharing those thoughts. No surprise, that proved to be the case.