back to article Verizon condemns FCC wireless move

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 …

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One word: Choice

the US wireless market provides a severely limited range of services.

all of the carriers have free reign to throttle or filter network traffic however they wish, with little threat of competition. the terms of service are draconian, privacy provisions are nonexistent or laughably inadequate, prices are high, coverage is very inconsistent and sometimes unpredictable (even if you are absolutely stationary for an hour), good smartphones are expensive and lack features because the carriers want it that way (WiFi, HSDPA, etc.)...really, i could go on, but you get the idea.

it's time someone lit a fire under this oligopoly. if regulation won't do it, i'll take deregulation as my only option.

yeah, i'm desperate, but the US president is a corporate whore who appoints lobbyists as regulators.

i'll take what i can get.

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Good.

Two days ago I was told by Sprint that they would not support a third party phone, and that if they found out I was using it they would cut off my access. *Without* letting me out of my contract.

As far as I'm concerned, there isn't any innovation in the first place.

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Big businesses stifles innovation, Pope becomes catholic

I always think of it as a positive thing when companies like Verizon start moaning about having their markets opened. I wonder why CEOs are always whinging about something, looking for some reason to blame their failings on. (we would have made more if it hadnt been for oil prices, global warming, the discovery of quasars etc).

Regardless of what I think/thought of Margaret Thatcher, she did liven things up a bit. She led the way in deregulation and letting people decide what services they wanted, rather than having big companies deciding what they were going to make available.

This is the way to go, let the dinosaurs die out, if they cant compete, leave them to rot away, and remove their ability to stifle innovation. I mean they are making money out of copper cable laid 30 to 50 years ago. Isn't it paid for yet ?

Time to upgrade girls, and if you wont do it, get out of the way so someone else can !

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What's bad for Verizon...

...is probably good for consumers. Bring it on!

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Suck it up, corporate whiners

Because y'all have failed to step up and provide anything better than basic service, if we get it at all, out where we are. We're a mere 15 miles out of town in two directions, not exactly a long distance compared to the size of the USA, but wireless service is patchy at best, and non-existent for all but Sprint, Verizon and US Cellular, last time I checked. And WTF is with having to pay (or use minutes, anyway) to receive calls? Finally seeing some improvement here, but really, WTF?

Similar story with land lines. In this land of capitalist free market forces, we have a choice between Verizon and....err....that's it. Again they've failed dismally to provide anything beyond basic POTS. Broadband? Yeah right, they'd have to invest some of their obscene profits into making that happen. How *dare* we impudent customers ask for some investment in improved services? We should be grateful to even have a phone, right?

Anything that can offer an alternative to this useless state of affairs can only be a good thing. Competition only drives innovation when you actually have direct competitors, after all.

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Partly deregulated is probably best

The US should probably do two different paths here.

The cell companies, in current bands, should be required to allow any FCC approved phone that will inter-operate with their networks use their services. They should also put an end to exclusive handset access for one company. A limited time of exclusive sales is alright I guess, but those phones should be unlocked and one should be able to buy the phone outright without a contract. All the other draconian policies of cell providers, in their existing network bandwidth, should be allowed to stand.

This newly released bandwidth should be all or mostly free-for-all. Your application, your equipment, your traffic patterns, and your traffic routes should be unhindered as long as you're not damaging the network or hindering your neighbor's network access.

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.

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Anonymous Coward

Verizon is limiting innovation to make more money. This is why:

Imaging being able to purchase ringtones, download games, and watch videos from any mobile internet website. This would give consumer freedom of choice but Verizon doesn't want this because it will hurt their Vcast product and revenue.

Can you imaging if Comcast, AOL, or any other Internet Service Provider (ISP) tried to block your internet browsing capabilities to make more money off you. This is what Verizon is trying to do with mobile internet.

They should be making money on the service they provide. Phone and Internet connectivity. Not dictating where and what people do when using the mobile internet.

Verizon is also doing something similar with the Bluetooth functionality on their mobile devices. Only allowing people to use it for voice, not file transfer. Again I'm sure you can see why.

Anyone with a basic understanding of Verizon's revenue stream and the potential for mobile internet should be able to see why they are pushing for their ability to limit mobile internet access.

If the FCC allows Verizon to do this there should be a serious investigation as to why.

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Anonymous Coward

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.

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Anonymous Coward

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...

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Anonymous Coward

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.

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