Wireless Consumers Both Win and Lose With New FCC Rules

You win some, you lose some. Google’s bid to created an open wireless network was only partially sucessful today as the FCC rejected some of the search giant’s conditions, but adopted others.

In the plus column, the FCC ruled that the winners of space on the new, better, faster 700 mhz network would be “required to provide a platform open to devices and applications.” This is good news, both for Google and for consumers in general.

Google didn’t get their request for a requirement that would force companies to lease the new space to smaller “third-party” operators in order to create a so-called “third pipe” into the home along with phone and cable.

Google responded to the ruling on the Google Public Policy blog, praising the FCC for adopting the conditions that they did. From the tone of the post, they haven’t ruled themselves out of the auction:

…it would have a more complete victory for consumers had the FCC adopted all four of the license conditions that we advocated, in order to pave the way for the real “third pipe” broadband competition that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has been touting. For our part, we will need time to carefully study the actual text of the FCC’s rules, due out in a few weeks, before we can make any definitive decisions about our possible participation in the auction.

In the meantime, we thank Chairman Martin for his leadership, and his compelling insight that American consumers deserve better in the wireless and broadband worlds.

All in all, the future of wireless looks a little brighter. Wireless carriers operating on the new network will no longer be able to lock you into a crippled handset or prevent you form using applications such as Skype.

Signs of Real Progress At The FCC [Google Public Policy Blog]