It’s called the digital dividend, the part of the radio spectrum that will be freed up over the next few years as the UK moves from analogue to digital signals for television and radio. What the dividend is, really, is that amount that will be generated when government watchdog Ofcom auctions off that spectrum. According to a story onZDNet, there’s speculation that Google might well put in a bid when the auctions happen next year and in 2009, asit’s planning to do in a similar auction in the US. However, a Google spokesperson was revealing nothing to ZDNET. "The federal [anti-collusion] laws that regulate theFCC [Federal Communications Commission] spectrum auction in the US prohibit us from commenting on our spectrum strategy anywhere else in the world. We are notallowed to say anything that would affect anyone else’s bid." However, as the FCC auction takes place next month, once that’s over Google might reveal more. In late 2008, theUK will auction off the so-called “interleaved spectrum,” up to 208 MHz, with the cleared spectrum going on the block the following year. There will be no limit on usage, with theexception of the spectrum used to wireless microphones. Ofcom has announced that the auction will be a beauty contest – it’s now down to who waves the most cash. The interleaved spectrumcould well work with the field of cognitive radio, which is deemed to have applications for wireless broadband. If Google wins the US auction, it could become a major wireless broadband player in thecountry, and the possibility has to exist that it would love to have similar dominance in the UK.
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