Wednesday, August 01, 2007
FCC approves "universal unbundled access" for all wireless consumers
Major media outlets report that the Federal Communications Commission has approved open access of the airwaves for all devices. A typical story is Kim Hart, “FCC Aproves Airwave Use for All Phones: Wireless Network Opened to Options if Not Firms, page D01 print, The Washington Post, Aug. 1, 2007, here:
The airwaves will be auctioned in early 2008 and consumers will be allowed to use their cellphones and software in unbundled manners of their choosing.
ATT had opposed an amendment that would require the winner to resell some shares to third parties. There have been complicated discussions about how regulations, or lack thereof, would affect smaller providers and wireless access in remote rural areas, especially in western states.
There is also a provision that wireless carriers will share the responsibility for preferred public safety networks, which in theory sounds like a “public service” exception to the ideology of strict network neutrality.