Google Will Abstain From The FCC Auction For 600 MHz of Spectrum

February 12, 2016 - Written By Jamil Bryant

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will soon hold an auction for broadcast airwaves available for wireless carriers to bid on. These Airwaves can substantially improve wireless coverage for whoever ends up winning the auction. According to some industry forecasters, it was highly expected for Google to participate in the auction. Unfortunately, those speculations are incorrect since a spokeswoman for Google came out Friday declaring that Alphabet’s Google will not be a part of the auction. Industry forecasters expected the search giant to join the auction due to the launch of a wireless service the company launched last year.

The service Google launched last year switches between wifi and an actual cellular network hosted on Sprint and T-Mobile’s networks. Since Alphabet has no intentions on joining the auction to bid on broadcast spectrum, they will be following the auction closely to see who wins. The last time the search giant participated in an FCC auction was in 2008 but the company didn’t purchase any airwaves. In this year’s auction, the FCC has 600 megahertz of broadcast airwaves that they plan on auctioning off. These airwaves are special in their own way due to the fact that they can travel for extremely long distances and even go through the walls of buildings. Whoever ends up with the winning bid on these broadcast airwaves will seriously improve their coverage since they offer a more wider reach than normal.

Although Google will not take part in this auction for spectrum airwaves, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Comcast will. As the spokeswoman for Google said, the search giant will closely follow the auction. The reason behind this is probably because of T-Mobile whose network they use for their wireless service. If T-Mobile were to win the auction, Google’s wireless coverage would greatly become increased due to the 600 megahertz. Even if T-Mobile doesn’t win the auction, Google might be paying close attention to the other carriers in hopes to work a deal with them. The FCC’s official deadline for the auction ended Wednesday, so any company that wished to join will have to wait the next time the FCC holds another auction. March 29th will be the day the auction is held and hopefully by then we will know who the owner of those 600 megahertz of spectrum belong too.