Verizon Responds to Google Accusations

Tue, 05/06/2008 – 23:00 by

Google publicly said that Verizon was taking a position on the C-Block 700MHz spectrum’s open access provisions that would effectively create a two-tiered system: one for existing customers and one for third-parties that wanted onto the system but were not Verizon subscribers. To some degree Google’s celebration of the new joint venture Clearwire (announced today) is also an indirect slap at Verizon and its allegedly non-neutral stance on open access: As we’ve supported open standards for spectrum and wireless handsets, we’re especially excited that Clearwire intends to build and maintain a network that will embrace important openness features. In particular, the network will: (1) expand advanced high speed wireless Internet access in the U.S., (2) allow consumers to utilize any lawful applications, content and devices without blocking, degrading or impairing Internet traffic and (3) engage in reasonable and competitively-neutral network management. Now Verizon responds to the Google accusations: Verizon Wireless is pleased to have been a winner of spectrum in that auction, to support incredible new “4G” products and services. Google’s filing has no legal basis. It’s really no surprise that despite not winning spectrum, they continue to try to change the rules and further their own business interests through the regulatory process. We expect to file at the Federal Communications Commission within the next several days on this matter. Verizon Wireless – and all the other participants in the recent 700 MHz spectrum auction – understood the FCC’s rules for using that spectrum in advance of the auction. Of course we’ll abide by those rules. As we work to put the spectrum we won to good use, if Google or anybody else has evidence that we aren’t playing by the rules, there are legitimate and expedited ways to address that. AT&T specifically did not bid for the C-Block because the company didn’t want to allow third parties to use the network. There’s probably considerable resentment over at Verizon of Google. Verizon’s post above suggests that it sees Google (as on the desktop) as a free rider benefiting from the company’s infrastructure. Indeed, this is the “net neutrality” debate playing out again, in mobile. Verizon is not a member of the Android alliance, while Sprint is, so is T-Mobile and AT&T says it may join .