Google to Internet, FCC, Verizon and Viacom: Keep it Open

Google has been busy on the legal, tech and policy front lately, and there’s a primary theme running through all of their pursuits: Google loves wide open spaces.

First up, as is being widely reported, Clearwire and Spring are combining their wifi and broadband services. But did you know Google is one of the companies behind the $3.2 billion deal? They’ve teamed with Comcast, Intel Capital, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Trilogy Equity Partners to create the new company.

Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum is part of the deal. And spectrum is something at the top of Google’s wish list lately. Google didn’t win any of its bids on a recent FCC spectrum auction. And last week, Google raised concern that Verizon will not keep its spectrum auction space open afterall.

Google is also facing resistance to its plan for “white spaces.” Several sports groups including the NFL, NBA and NASCAR are now lobbying the FCC to not open up “white spaces” on TV spectrum. Google wants them opened up for wireless. The groups are concerned about signal interference for things like coaching headsets and referee microphones.

In a different kind of open battle, Google is saying that it won’t settle a lawsuit brought by Viacom over copyrighted material, according to Business Week. David Eun, vice president in Content Partnerships at Google told Dow Jones newswires that they plan to go all the way to the Supreme Court with the case. Viacom brought the $1 billion suit after the two companies couldn’t reach a licensing agreement for content on YouTube.

Whether it’s content or spectrum, Google wants to keep things out in the open. They’re going to great lengths to make it happen, and while corporations may not be thrilled, consumers are likely to be happy should Google meet its open goals.

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