Verizon Vs. Google: Verizon Wireless Sues The FCC Over "Open Network" Requirement

When Google lobbied successfully for the inclusion of an “open network” requirement in the upcoming wireless spectrum auction, it was seen as a coup for consumers. The open network clause would mean that consumers would be able to take their handsets and devices to the network of their choosing.

At first, Verizon agreed to the rule. Now they’re suing to stop it, calling it “arbitrary, capricious, unsupported by substantial evidence, and otherwise contrary to law.”

Google immediately snapped back, posting on their blog:

The nation’s spectrum airwaves are not the birthright of any one company. They are a unique and valuable public resource that belong to all Americans. The FCC’s auction rules are designed to allow U.S. consumers — for the first time — to use their handsets with any network they desire, and download and use the lawful software applications of their choice.

It’s regrettable that Verizon has decided to use the court system to try to prevent consumers from having any choice of innovative services. Once again, it is American consumers who lose from these tactics.

We stand with team Google in absence of a lucid argument as to why the FCC should let carriers discourage competition by saddling their customers with needlessly crippled hardware.

Verizon Lawsuit (PDF) [Google Public Policy Blog]
Consumer choice is always the right answer [Google Public Policy Blog]