Google Attacks Verizon Over Secret FCC Lobbying

The dispute over the rules for the FCC auction of 700 MHz spectrum rolls on… Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has been accused of behind-the-scenes lobbying at the FCC with the result that Chairman Kevin Martin is trying to remove the open access rules, and now Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has made those complaints official: “Google attorney Richard Whitt said in public filings and a Wednesday blog post that the Verizon has been less than forthcoming about related matters it has discussed with FCC officials, including Chairman Kevin Martin” reports Dow Jones. Verizon has denied the charges, with Verizon attorney Michael Senkowski writing in its own filing with the FCC that “Google’s assertion is not correct”, and Verizon did not press for changes in the open-access rules during the meeting.

Dow Jones (NYSE: DJ) also writes: “Whitt said in his post that Verizon has been furtively attempting to “water down” aspects of the open-access rules, by pressing that those devices sold by the spectrum’s acquirer will not have to be open to applications offered by other companies…But Whitt notes that currently, some 95 percent of the phones in the U.S. are sold by carriers such as Verizon, meaning that nearly all phones would be sealed off from outside applications if Verizon has its way.” I was under the impression that “open access” meant that any device that could connect to the network on the spectrum as long as it didn’t harm the network, although there were some comments about allowing third-party applications.

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