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Verizon condemns FCC wireless move

To the surprise of no one

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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."®

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