back to article Google questions Verizon 'open network'

Google wants to make darn sure that when Verizon opens up its wireless network, it actually opens up its wireless network. In a new petition (PDF) to the US Federal Communications Commission, the world's largest search engine questions whether Verizon is planning to sidestep the commission's new open access rules, urging Kevin …


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  1. Tom Slee

    Oh quit your whinging, Google

    Of course, Google could have actually reached into its pocket and put one of its many bags of actual money on the table. Criticising from the sidelines is a pastime that should be reserved for those of us who don't have the aforesaid bags of actual money.

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  3. Steve
    Thumb Up

    Let Google whine.

    Let Google whine.

    Unless Verizon is completely open, how is Google going to be able to sell their new "Android" phones and software on a closed network.

    The entire reason why Google made the FCC bid the block to "open-source" networks is so Google could sell their product. It was a terrific play by Google and now they are trying to tie up the loose ends Verizon is trying to unravel.

  4. system

    Fast and loose?

    Like googles lack of acceptance for affero licensed open source?

  5. Magnus
    Thumb Down

    If they signed the agreement the better bloody well honour it...

    To all the "let Google whine" people.

    Google did put their money on the table. Yes they didn't put more than they needed to to achieve what they wanted. However they could still have been left holding the baby when they got the bidding to the open access threshold. Verizon new full well what they were getting into when they outbid Google (and whoever else might have been involved) and they are just trying to bend the letter of the law as far as they possibly can to their advantage.

    Now I for one cannot begrudge them that attempt but I don't approve of actions like that and I definitely won't cheer them on from the sidelines.

  6. Mad Hacker
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant, Google gets the spectrum for original bid price

    So Verizon forfeits their bid due to violating the FCC rules, and Google gets to buy the spectrum at the original 4.6 million minimum bid.

    Brilliant. Go Google!

  7. Xander Dent

    Go Google

    Google get my full backing on this one, they may not be perfect, but they are one of the few companies that create "things" the general populace benefit from, without me having to put my hand in my pocket or put up with annoying ads (yes, the ads are there, but they ain't in my face, brightly coloured, or pop-ups). This IMHO is a good thing.

    my £0.02

  8. tempestb

    How do they make money?

    Seriously, if the network is open and any application can run on it with any device, how does Verizon make any money from this?

  9. joe
    Paris Hilton

    RE: How do they make money

    They knew that when they bought the spectrum. Verizon knows too well that they got out flanked by an "Ad Company" now they are waffling like all telcos do when a new chef is in the kitchen. I imagine Google will swoop in and share their targeted advertising $$$$. I can also imagine that Free to Free phone will be PCS like and other traditional calls will incur a charge. I can't imagine not having to set up an account with Verizon to use it as a communications device. I could also see everyone + dog using it wirelessly networked but to get to the Internet would be, again, an access fee.

    Verizon could win big if they would only stop thinking like a Telco. Ya, that would be the day.

    I choose Paris, cause she known for her "Service offerings"

  10. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    RE: How do they make money?

    By charging to use the network ? The key bit is OPEN, not FREE. You make calls, you pay. You use data, you pay. Get the idea ?

    What the networks over there like is being able to control what you do and what you do it with - ie you get phones with ONLY the services/software they like because they can charge more for it that way.

    One example that comes to mind. Supposing someone comes up with a nifty bit of software that can download and display maps and satellite images - including of exactly where you are stood if you have a GPS available. On an open network, you "just use it" and pay your network for the data transferred. On a closed network, you only get to use it on the networks terms - typically by paying for some form of premium services package at many times the price of the data transfer.

    Another example, on an open network you can use a phone as a 'modem' and have internet connectivity for your laptop wherever you are. The networks don't like that as they'd rather you bought a separate data tariff for the laptop (thus paying them two lots of monthly 'line charges') - and so the phones they allow you to use on the network have the 'modem' functionality disabled or removed (yes, I know for a fact that they did this with the Treo 650).

    The networks can still make money if they price their services right - but without the open network clause they effectively have a duopoly (in many places monopoly) and can charge exactly what they want, for the service THEY want to have available.

  11. Anonymous Coward


    And here is Google, the World's biggest search engine, harping on about open access when their YouTube service is now blocking emTube, an alternative and altogether supremely better YouTube video application.

  12. Henry Wertz Gold badge


    Yeah, you guys in UK don't really know why this is such a big deal. As it is now, GSM providers here are just like there, where they sell you a locked GSM phone, but after a while you can get it unlocked; you can buy your own unlocked phone and swap your SIM into it too. But, the big GSM providers have other problems (less coverage, AT&T seems to have network problems, etc.)

    The CDMA providers (Verizon Wireless, Sprint, Alltel, US Cellular) don't use SIM cards, you give them the phone ESN (electronic serial number) and they put it on your account. They will not activate a phone they didn't sell; so you can't take a Sprint phone (even if unlocked) and place it on your Verizon Wireless account. This is the big deal -- if I am paying for voice serivce, and paying for data service, why does it matter what device I'm using it on? Verizon Wireless has pledged to go to allowing any device by later in the year (as long as it's compatible, won't harm the network, etc etc.), but Google wants to make sure they really follow the spirit of the agreement, not you "can" use whatever device you want but you'll pay 10x as much or something.

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  14. N1AK

    @ Pot Paging Kettle

    That would be the same emTube that allows saving of youTube videos right? With that feature almost certainly being what Google has a problem with.

    Google offers youTube as an internet service, it can put any limitations it wants on it, as their are no barriers of entry this is no issue.

    Verizon bought a chunk of spectrum, that has a very real limit on entry to the market (we can't just lay an extra few thousand hz of spectrum) and in doing so agreed to open access. These are not equivalent cases.

    Yes I'd like youTube to come with a download option, but I can see why Google hasn't added one, it allows them and potentially the producer of the clip to earn money each time it's viewed.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    @the "google is bad" argument: beware false dichotomy

    Try not to think of it as "either Verizon wins and Google loses, or Google wins and Verizon loses", because that's a false dichotomy that will lead you to walk all over *your own* best interests: you don't /have/ to side with /either/ one, no matter how you feel about the ethicality of Google's (or Verizon's) behaviour.

    There's a bigger picture: should rich and powerful corporations have to follow the law and comply with their contractual obligations like the rest of us, or should they be given a free ride to tear up their promises and impunity before the law?

    Verizon freely signed up to a legally binding commitment. They should not be allowed to avoid it just because - well, because what? Because they want more money? Is that a reason to allow someone to ignore the law? They went into this deal with their eyes open, and they have no right to try and suddenly change the terms in the tiny window inbetween when they win the auction to the exclusion of the competition and when the bill comes in for what they bought. That's why I don't care about Google in this matter at all: I only care about Verizon being held to their word.

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