Hear that America? That's the sound of the hammer dropping on our beloved cartel of carriers. Google's bid for the 700MHz "C Block" is on. Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman and CEO, says the following:

"We believe it's important to put our money where our principles are. Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in today's wireless world. No matter which bidder ultimately prevails, the real winners of this auction are American consumers who likely will see more choices than ever before in how they access the Internet."

The bidding begins on January 24th with a minimum of $4.6 billion required for the open-access C Block. Wake the kids, phone the neighbors, it's going to get ugly fast.