Verizon: It’s OUR Network

Mark is totally outperforming me on this blog for many reasons, but my newest excuse is that I went to Austin for the weekend to see the Austin City Limits Festival. W00t!!1!

So, I’m going to be covering some divine articles that appeared over the weekend. First up: Verizon, it’s OUR network, baby! The Journal reports:

Verizon Wireless appealed the Federal Communications Commission’s rules for a coming radio spectrum auction, charging the agency with exceeding its authority in requiring carriers to open their networks to any devices and cellphone applications.

Yes, you read that right: Verizon wants to change the rules so that they control what devices and programs you can use when using wireless. What ever happened to consumer freedom? Oh, maybe it’s that consumers want control! i-9d936ebcbb671ac98c18d0fb1b4e58c6-4s.jpeg

The good news is that the decision of the FCC, yes, a federal government agency, to give you more choice and freedom, is reviewed on an “arbitrary and capricious” standard. This means that Verizon carries the burden to show that the agency acted irrationally in requiring the spectrum to be free from such carrier restrictions.


  1. OilMonkey

    The real problem is believing consumers have actual choices in the first place.

  2. Well, it’s actually a bit more complex than that although I would appreciate hearing your take on the 700MHz auctions. [ref1] , [ref2].

    I personally don’t see how encumbrances are by default unconstitutional if the FCC is expected to have a brain whatsoever (and use it) in protecting the public good. The public spectrum should be as open as possible to stoke innovation, not handed over to a single entity to extract the maximal value as (monopolized) free markets allow.

    In my opinion, Verizon has their panties in a wad because they thought they were going to walk away with it and there’s an off chance that they may not, so now they’re pissing in the pool and appealing to business libertarians to join their fight.

  3. Incidentally, You have a two link limit in the comments, so I’ll post separately this link to Google’s Public Policy blog.

    It is really interesting to follow google’s public policy initiatives because they have such marketshare and mindshare that they are one of the few entities out there that can influence public policy by funding their own think tank if they were up to it.

    I think it would be interesting to see their entire public policy portfolio articulated because they concentrate on Millenials and very late GenX so much (and are populated by them), as well as their general tenor of appealing to logic, science, rationalism, etc.

    IMO, past initiatives by Google trump the calls for the restoration of OTA because they’ve helped establish open communication and aggregation that was not present in the old days of OTA.

    I can easily view the calls for re-establishing the OTA as a plea by the science community to bypass the unwashed masses and their emotionally charged voting patterns. If you can’t convince the unwashed (because you don’t want to take the time), then bypass them by going directly to the oligarchy.

    Very paternalistic, that, and regressive considering the distance we’ve traveled since 1995.

  4. Thought you might also appreciate the little use of the six of clubs in this article:

    “Some scholars said such a rule was not needed for text messages because market competition was sufficient to ensure robust political debate.”

    Ah well, that’s okay then. No need for common carrier status here. Wait, hold on, who are these scholars? And why is this rule not needed for text messages in particular?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *