airwavzAlways the green wire
Mount Juliet, TN
Should never have been "Sold" - and they weren't "there's likely to be significant political opposition from AT&T and Verizon, who'd prefer to retain strict control over the spectrum they own."
The truth is, they don't "Own" this spectrum at all - the 'airwaves' are, and always have been, a public resource; granted, regulated by the government. The whole idea of Spectrum Auctions was a stupid money-grab by our short-sighted government bean-counters which essentially granted favorable status to the incumbent wireless carriers over the rights and interests of common citizens. Now AT&T and Verizon think they DO own those frequencies and want to tell the government what to do with them?!?
I'm ALL about capitalism and free business, BUT - a few select corporate entities should NEVER be given control of the resources which inherently belong to the entire citizenry. You need only to look around you to see what happens when greed is allowed to overrule good government.
As far as they are concered and the way it works; they do own them. Once they make their payment from the auction, they're free to do what they want with them as long as it does not interfer with others.
Nothing states that they do not own these in writing; it's just "assumed" they do not own them and the air waves are a public resource.