Why are lobbyists for Skype and Verizon at war? Because Skype wants to be allowed to operate on to your cellphone, and Verzion is saying no way.
From Russell Shaw’s ZDNet blog:
The issue at hand here is Skype’s “Carterphone petition” to the FCC. If granted, that would mandate that most cellphones and other handsets be made available to third-party applications, such as (well, duh) Skype.
So what’s a Carterphone? Don’t worry you liberal-haters, it has nothing to do with Jimmy Carter. It’s a device. From Wikipedia:
This particular device was involved in a landmark United States regulatory decision related to telecommunications. The 1968 Federal Communications Commission allowed the Carterfone and other devices to be connected directly to the AT&T network, as long as they did not cause damage to the system. This ruling created the possibility of selling devices that could connect to the phone system and opened up the market to numerous products, including answering machines, fax machines, cordless phones, computer modems and the early, dialup Internet.
The Carterphone provision was never applied to cellphones, giving providers a closed system. If Skype successfully petitions the FCC, cellphones could be “unlocked” to third-party applications such as Skype. This could be good for you, the Skype-loving consumer. —MEGHANN MARCO
Skype on cellphones? Skype, Verizon lobbyists square off [ZDNet]