700 MHz Auction Brings Mountains of Confusion

The FCC auction of the 700 MHz wireless spectrum is turning out to be more controversial than a Steve Ballmer speech. The auction, slated to begin January 24, 2008, has been tied up with court challenges from Verizon, confusing announcements from AT&T, and in-and-out games from Microsoft.

Verizon, which sued to overturn the FCC's ruling that the winner will have to let customers choose what equipment they want to use, dropped it's suit today after the Court of Appeals refused to fast-track the request. Meanwhile, news agencies busy reporting that AT&T a) definitely would, b) definitely would not, and c) might possibly enter the auction.

For it's part, Microsoft announced it would not participate in the auction, though no word yet from Google about whether it intends to participate.

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Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.