Space Ramblings

Open Access and Open Doors

The Open Access auction debate is shaping up to be one of those tech vs corporate power games in which corporate power usually wins but this time out it looks like the FCC will back Open Access. The GOP is none too happy about that because of corporate pressure and because they see Open Access as likely to poison the auction pot reducing the potential dollar value of the auction.

It’s a legitimate concern or would be if the public was to actually benefit from congress having more money to play with. But of course anyone with any common sense knows that the public does not benefit from giving congress more money to play pork with. The public does not stand to benefit from the auction under normal circumstances, companies and congressmen do. On the other hand with Open Access, interesting things might actually get done with the spectrum that would actually benefit people. Open Access does raise the possibility of restraining some of the monopolistic gobbling behavior of the big boys like Verizon which is a major good because the bigger the corps get, the more they slap their faithful customers around.

The spectrum auction can either be used as a massive giveaway for big business, which had been done before and gotten us nowhere or it can be used to transform the entire landscape. As much as I dislike Google, I put better odds on Google reshaping the landscape than on Verizon doing it.

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