Google Aims Block At Verizon Wireless Bid

    May 5, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Verizon’s win in the FCC auction for the C block of 700MHz spectrum should be stopped unless the company agrees to give existing customers open access privileges, according to Google.

Did you think the spectrum auction, with its winning bid of $4.7 billion from Verizon, truly ended? Google is still fighting that battle, with a request to the FCC that Verizon should be blocked from completing the deal, unless they apply open access rules from that auction to their current customers.

“Verizon is gaming the rules in an effort to keep their cash cow (crippled, walled garden phones with no VoIP, Verizon content, highly restricted TOS, high priced SMS) alive and well,” said Broadband Reports of Google’s position on Verizon. In short, good luck with that open access thing, consumers.

“Google all but accuses Verizon of planning to ignore the portion of the C Block open access requirements that say that C Block licensees ‘may not disable features on handsets it provides to customers,’ Cynthia Brumfield said at IP Democracy.

“Google says that Verizon has never strayed from its initial position that open access requirements do not apply to handsets that it gives its own customers,” said Brumfield. Google opined further on the process in their 11-page request of the FCC:

Notwithstanding the clarity of the rule, Verizon has taken the public position that it may exclude its handsets from the open access condition. Verizon believes it may force customers who want to access the open platform using a device not purchased from Verizon to go through “Door No. 1,” while allowing customers who obtain their device from Verizon access through “Door No. 2.”

As Google previously made clear, Verizon