Help us 700MHz, you’re our only hope

cell towerIn the same way that Princess Leia pleaded with Obi-Wan Kenobi to help her and the rebels in their fight against the evil Empire, a “new” battle is brewing around the cell phone industry.The FCC is set to auction off the 700MHz spectrum (currently the analog TV frequency) to the highest bidder sometime in early 2008. The rules surrounding this sale can be written in such a way as to support “open access.” This could potentially lead the way to cellular networks in which consumers could effectively use any handset on any carrier of their choice.

The battle lines are being drawn with the huge, controlling cellular companies on one side and consumers on the other. Luckily, “[t]he chairman of the FCC, Kevin Martin, is already advocating for open access when it comes to devices. Earlier this week, he circulated a proposal of rules for the auction that would require winners of some 700MHz spectrum licenses to let any device connect to their networks so long as they are safe and do no harm to the network.”

Definitely something to keep your eye on in the up coming months…