When it comes to spectrum auctions, it is hard to bet against the incumbent cell phone carriers with their deep pockets and legions of lobbyists. But the upcoming auctions of radio waves about to be freed up by the transition to digital TV will have some interesting new contendors from Silicon Valley. Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr and entrepreneur Jim Barksdale (of Netscape fame) are partnering with former FCC commissioner Reed Hundt to make a run at some of those radio waves.
Hundt certainly knows his way around the FCC bureaucracy. His plan to build a digital wireless network whose airwaves will be accessible to police and other safety officials during emergencies will certianly win points in the halls of Washington.
Don't worry about the carriers. They will get their slice. But the more competition, the faster we'll see these new wireless services and (hopefully) the cheaper they will become.