Now that we know Google was a big loser in the 700MHz spectrum auction, many bloggers are acting like they knew it all along. But the truth is, when we predicted that Google wouldn’t win any spectrum, there were only a small handful of people who agreed with us. When I explained that Google's involvement was a PR stunt, most people were still fantasizing about the possibilities of Google-owned spectrum.
But it appears there is still some education to do. The normally sober Ars Technica is now calling the loss a “coup” and claiming that Google is “ecstatic”. As we explained, the PR stunt had rather limited success. And in fact it appears to be worse than that. We are seeing now that the much-vaunted open access requirements are open to serious interpretation. I’m as much in favor of network neutrality as anyone, and I would love to report that Google’s PR stunt moved the needle significantly, but that simply wouldn’t be true.
Now Ars Technica and others are predicting that the latest effort, which includes Microsoft, Google, Intel and others, will have a serious impact on network neutrality. That would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath. And while Ars Technica can be forgiven for wishful thinking, I can’t say the same about others. Once again, we are seeing reporters speculate that Google wants to get into network access business. I already explained why Google doesn’t want to be in that business.