Signaling its intention to enter the FCC’s auction of wireless broadband licenses in the 700 MHz band, Internet search giant Google has promised to post a minimum opening bid of $4.6 billion if the FCC adopts open access conditions for the 22 MHz “C-block” as well as a wholesale access rule that would require the winning bidder to lease a portion of its network capacity to competitive providers. Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, outlined the plan in a letter addressed to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin last Friday. Observers also say that Google’s proposed opening bid would match the reserve price that the FCC is expected to set for the C-block license. Google, which envisions great potential in the wireless broadband market for the company’s extensive suite of Internet applications and web-based advertising services, has been a key participant in the FCC’s 700 MHz proceeding and a staunch advocate of open access rules that are now under consideration at the agency. Although the FCC is expected to adopt open access requirements at a meeting to take place next Tuesday, there is some doubt as to whether the agency will enact wholesale access rules sought by Google. Lamenting that “the current draft order falls short,” Schmidt urged Martin to enact a wholesale regime in which the winning bidder would offer access to its network based on “nondiscriminatory commercial terms,” arguing that such a requirement would spur competition. Condemning the letter, Steve Largent, the chief of wireless association CTIA, accused Google of attempting to have the auction “rigged with special conditions in its favor.”