Google Takes WiFi Lobbying Up A Notch

Washington (DC) - Google this week began a new push in Washington, lobbying for more airwaves and bandwidth access for wireless Internet. It's part of the online giant's push to create a new standard of wireless Web access.

Google says it wants to create a platform called WiFi 2.0, a wireless high-speed Internet network that would be loosely regulated and be more cost-effective than the current offerings.

It said the new network would have "data rates in the gigabits per second." Google head counsel in DC Rick Whit said that the service could be accessible in new devices by next year, if lawmakers are willing to allow it.

The move comes after the country's huge auction over 700 megahertz communications. The FCC required that part of this spectrum be able to run an open network for wireless devices, which is key to some of Google's future plans.

However, Google also hoped the auction would bring in more broadband competition, but with Verizon and AT&T as the big winners in the spectrum bidding, that didn't really happen. So Google is now trying to get through Congress directly.

At issue is a bundle of unused spectrum currently grouped in with the country's TV signals. This so-called "white space" spectrum could be used to create a high-speed online network, contends Google.