This is inline with my interpretation of Google honcho’s remarks about cell phones being free. I believe he meant the service should be free, advertising can support the business model (or so I theorize). Phones are already “free” from wireless providers. They may not be the hippest, but they are free with a commitment, so Google saying “phones should be free” doesn’t move the bar any.
A free wireless network does. How would Verizon and AT&T react to something like that? They’d be scrambling to devise a new business model.
Boy Genius Reports says According to Richard Whitt, Washington telecommunications and media counsel at Google, there’s a chance that they will make a play for licensee rights to the upcoming 700 MHz band that the FCC is going to auction off. “We have not ruled in or out participating in the auction as a licensee,” says Whitt. “Whether or not we do get involved [in the auction], we see some value in creating these kinds of platforms.”
Take it with a grain or two of salt, but imagine the possibilities. There are lots of folks I know who would love to stop paying big bucks for service.