Google Wants Open Access Pledge from Verizon

Worried that Verizon's recent winning $4.7 billion bid on a band of wireless spectrum will not be as open as promised, Google has filed a petition with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC had previously required that any company who won the right to purchase the spectrum would open it up to competing devices and services.

"Verizon is not free to self-define the rule to exclude any and all Verizon devices," the filing reads. "The commission must ensure that Verizon understands that this license obligation means what it says: any apps, any devices." Google points to comments from a Verizon executive who noted that the company might offer access to devices on a tiered basis, with one tier being open and the other closed to Verizon-approved devices.

Google wants the FCC to move quickly to get an open access pledge from Verizon. Otherwise, it says, Verizon should not be allowed to purchase the wireless spectrum.

"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 filing reads.

Verizon originally opposed the open access requirement, a provision that Google was able to successfully insert into the FCC's auction guidelines. Google, of course, is busy developing a smart phone platform called Android that it would like to see deployed as broadly as possible when new devices become available later this year.

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