Verizon condemns FCC wireless move
To the surprise of no one
As you might expect, Verizon isn't too happy about recent news from FCC. A day after Federal Communications Chair Kevin Martin called for open-access to the U.S. wireless spectrum, the company's general counsel told Congress that giving consumers the freedom to control their own wireless destiny is a bad idea.
Laying down draft rules for an upcoming FCC wireless auction, Martin wants to give consumers the power to attach any device and any application to a small portion of the country's wireless spectrum. Naturally, Verizon prefers the status quo, where it and other big-name wireless carriers have control over what consumers can and cannot do.
"The one-size-fits-all mentality that characterizes open access regimes for the wireless industry would begin the process of stifling innovation and creativity in our industry," Verizon Wireless general council Steven Zipperstein told the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, Internetnews.com reports. Meanwhile, companies like Google and Yahoo! say that open-access will promote innovation.
Sometime early next year, the FCC will auction of the "700-MHz wireless band" recently vacated by television stations as they make the switch to digital broadcasts. With his draft rules, Martin has proposed that two 11-MHz portions of the band include the hotly-debated "open-access" requirement.
Google has heavily lobbied for open-access, and if Martin's draft rules are approved by the other four FCC commissioners, the Mountain View outfit may bid for all or part of the band in question, according to a story from Dow Jones Newswires. You can bet they won't be bidding against Verizon.
"Congress and the FCC have been barraged with requests that they regulate broadband wireless services by imposing so-called open access requirements," Zipperstein said. "But we believe these requests have not identified how the wireless market has failed consumers."®
Look what happened with the ISM band....
....a tiny slice of useless spectrum that's been put to use in innumerable ways, spurring the development of sophisticated wireless technologies. So lets have some more space. It might give the corporate honchos nightmares but what's bad for them is usually good for us.
And, yes, some of us in the US use GSM. The fortunate few. We trade service and voice quality ("adequate, but really not as good as CDMA") for freedom to roam anywhere and use anything we feel like.
Thats what you get for not adopting GSM
I cant help but laugh at our yankie cousins; had they chosen GSM as they telephony standard in the first place, you would probably have more consistent coverage, cheaper hardware, better phones (because you could use ANY other GSM phone) and more than likely a better pricing model. To be charged to receive calls is ridiculous, if they tried that in the UK, the company trying it would soon be out of the mobile (cellular) market.
This just proves that a) open standards are better for everyone, b) big business will always want to screw people over for money and c) This is what you get as a country for being so "God bless America and no place else", it backfires eventually...
Unlocked phones work fine
"This way, we can have a grand experiment on a scale of 300 million citizens proving once and for all whether openness stifles (yeah, right, wink wink, chuckle chuckle) or promotes innovation"
On unlocked phones, you don't need a grand experiment. Finland has had a law for the past five years or so which made it illegal to lock phones. All phones sold in the country during that time were unlocked, and people could switch between phone networks as they pleased. Prices of calls dropped to rock bottom, quality and coverage of services went up, and unlocked handset prices are some of the cheapest in the world.
Banning the locking of phones is undoubtedly a good thing, it benefits the consumer (better services, lower prices, easy to switch networks) and it benefits the phone makers (they add as many features as they want and sell it direct to the public through electrical stores). Phone locking should be made completely illegal, it serves absolutely no purpose other than to stifle competition.