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Google Seeks Open Access Assurances From Verizon Wireless

Google has doubts that Verizon Wireless will honor the open access provisions that come with the freshly-won spectrum it nabbed in the FCC 700-MHz auction. In fact, it went so far as to file a petition with the FCC forcing Verizon to officially pledge that it will honor the conditions. Google, are you in third grade?
Google has doubts that Verizon Wireless will honor the open access provisions that come with the freshly-won spectrum it nabbed in the FCC 700-MHz auction. In fact, it went so far as to file a petition with the FCC forcing Verizon to officially pledge that it will honor the conditions. Google, are you in third grade?Seriously. If I were Verizon Wireless's CEO, I'd be seriously offended.

Google claims that Verizon's actions leading up to the auction cast doubt on the sincerity of its "any apps, any device" ideas. Its main points are:

1.) Verizon filed a lawsuit in September against the FCC seeking to have the open access provisions dropped from the auction; 2.) Verizon officials offered the idea of a two-tiered system that would allow it to continue to sell locked devices; 3.) Verizon told the FCC that it could not force the auction winners to allow open access.

That was all before Verizon Wireless announced its "any apps, any device" initiative in November. Even though Verizon committed to allowing any device that meets certain technical criteria to access its network, and even set up a develop program to that effect, Google doesn't believe the company is serious.

Google's lawyers wrote, "Verizon is not free to self-define the rule to exclude any and all Verizon devices. The commission must ensure that Verizon understands that this license obligation means what it says: any apps, any devices. Action now is especially necessary given the long lead time typically required for software applications developers and device manufacturers to design, develop, and deploy their products to the public, as well as the uncertainty Verizon has introduced publicly regarding its compliance with the open access obligations."

The future success of Google's Android platform lays only in part with Verizon's open access promises. Android devices will be made in all shapes and sizes, including those that access competing technology networks run by AT&T and T-Mobile.

I think filing a claim with the government is going too far in this case. Verizon Wireless very loudly and publicly stated what its intentions were. For it to renege on its promises would be a major black eye in the court of public opinion.

Such a mark against it would carry far more weight with the public than a meaningless fine for not following some rules.

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