WASHINGTON -- The following statement is in response to today's letter from Google executive Eric Schmidt to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. It should be attributed to Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president of public affairs, policy and communications.
"For more than a decade the Federal Government has focused on clearing the 700 MHz band of spectrum to make it available for exciting, new wireless communication services. Congress and the FCC worked diligently to craft an auction process that would accomplish two important public policy objectives:
1) Create an auction process that would encourage participation by bidders offering the most innovative and valuable services to the public
2) Generate the largest revenues possible from the sale of spectrum in order to fund valuable government services for taxpayers
"Google's filing attempts to turn this carefully considered plan on its head. As it stands now, Google is free to participate in the auction like all other companies and implement its business plan if it is successful in winning spectrum. However, Google's filing urges the FCC to adopt rules that force all bidders to implement Google's business plan -- which would reduce the incentives for other players to bid.
"By indicating that it will bid the reserve price if its business plan is put into rules, Google is attempting to ensure the FCC that the federal government can get a minimum price without a competitive bidding process. Google, of course, would get the spectrum at a bargain basement price. The bottom line is this: without Google's rules, the government will get literally billions more for this valuable spectrum, and the taxpayers will be the winners.
"The integrity of the auction is critical to ensuring that the taxpayers and consumers receive the maximum benefit from this important public asset. And the best way to foster integrity is to encourage a diverse and competitive universe of bidders -- a goal undermined by the Google plan."