Can You Hear Me Now? Nope. How About Now? LALALALALA I AM NOT LISTENING!
Apparently Verizon’s “America’s Choice” campaign was intended as an oxymoron. Because the company seems intent on depriving consumers of choice in the wireless marketplace.
Earlier this week, Verizon filed an appeal seeking to overturn the rules the Federal Communications Commission plans to apply to the auction next January of the coveted 700-megahertz wireless spectrum. Seems it doesn’t much care for the idea of an open network that would allow consumers to use the phones and software of their choice. In a filing to a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., Verizon Wireless said the rules are “arbitrary, capricious, unsupported by substantial evidence and otherwise contrary to law.”
The appeal drew a quick and critical reply from Google, which has pledged to meet the $4.6 billion-bid minimum if open-access requirements were attached to the auction. “The nation’s spectrum airwaves are not the birthright of any one company,” Chris Sacca, Google’s head of special initiatives, wrote in a post to Google’s public policy blog. “They are a unique and valuable public resource that belong to all Americans. The FCC’s auction rules are designed to allow U.S. consumers–for the first time–to use their handsets with any network they desire, and download and use the lawful software applications of their choice. It’s regrettable that Verizon has decided to use the court system to try to prevent consumers from having any choice of innovative services.”
And really, that’s essentially what Verizon is doing. It wants to control which phones and software applications people use on its network–which, as Jason Devitt, co-founder and CEO of Skydeck, recently pointed out, is a little ridiculous. “For some reason I have never been able to understand, I have to ask permission of Verizon Wireless to attach a computer or the computers that they now call phones to their wireless networks,” Devitt said during a July House Subcommittee hearing on wireless services.. “I have to ask their permission to run applications and services on those phones.”