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Google Realizes Their 700Mhz 'Win' Wasn't Much of One
Files petition to keep Verizon Wireless from wiggling out of obligations...
by Karl Bode 11:48AM Monday May 05 2008
After Google pressured the FCC to apply some winning "open access" rules (pdf) onto the 700Mhz spectrum, there was ample media and blogger speculation that the rules would usher in a new age of wireless competition. Under the din of celebration, I warned that some legal experts who actually read the conditions were noting they weren't very enforceable, and that Verizon Wireless's promises for open access were really just an effort to make device/application freedom and choice a premium, luxury tier.

Google put on a very vocal stage show about the need for open access, and bid in the auction solely to ensure the minimum reserve price was met and the rules would be applied. Yet after all of this, Google has only now realized that their supposed win really wasn't much of one. They've filed a petition with the FCC asking the commission to apply additional rules that would keep Verizon lawyers from wiggling out of their open access obligations -- at least as they pertain to the company's own phones. From the petition:
quote:
Verizon has taken the public position that it may exclude its handsets from the open access condition. Verizon believes it may force customers who want to access the open platform using a device not purchased from Verizon to go through Door No. 1, while allowing customers who obtain their device from Verizon access through Door No. 2. As Google previously made clear, Verizon's position would completely reverse the meaning of the rule such that the open access condition would apply to none of Verizon's customers, and thereby render the condition a nullity.
In short, Verizon is gaming the rules in an effort to keep their cash cow (crippled, walled garden phones with no VoIP, Verizon content, highly restricted TOS, high priced SMS) alive and well. These phones will get sales priority at Verizon kiosks, while the "hey wow I can actually use my connection" tier -- to be launched at the end of this year -- won't be well marketed and will likely cost a pretty penny. I'm guessing pure bill-by-the-byte on top of whatever other charges the folks in Verizon billing can cook up.

Things may open up further once Verizon launches their 4G LTE network in a few years, but for now the song at Verizon remains the same. Is Google so new to lobbying they thought the FCC would actually stand between a baby bell and their obscene profits (silly rabbit)? The company could have purchased the spectrum and leased it to another carrier, but they threw their punches. Google may be an Internet powerhouse, but it's going to take a lot more than a dog and pony show to completely shift the wireless broadband industry status quo.

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neosolace
Stay In It

join:2003-08-25
Verbena, AL

oh really...

What did Google really expect to happen?

Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1

Re: oh really...

Can't get in the way of money...

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 recommendation

said by neosolace:

What did Google really expect to happen?
If Google wanted real "open access", then they should have bid on the spectrum "TO WIN" and put their money where their big fat mouth was. But they wanted the gravy without paying for the meat. Now they are just whining to daddy(FCC) to bail them out.
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page
JohnA
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Pittsburgh, PA

Re: oh really...


Exactly! Don't game the auction, if you don't want the winners to game the open access provisions. Didn't put up ..... Shut up.

rf_engineer

join:2003-08-04
USA
said by FFH5:

said by neosolace:

What did Google really expect to happen?
If Google wanted real "open access", then they should have bid on the spectrum "TO WIN" and put their money where their big fat mouth was. But they wanted the gravy without paying for the meat. Now they are just whining to daddy(FCC) to bail them out.
I usually don't post "ditto" posts, but I'm going to this time Google seems to have stumbled, somehow believing their "we're Google" invincibility would magically make this all work. Wireless is a real brick-and-mortar world; you can't build a network like you build and release a new feature with an army of young programmers and Linux boxes...

Nightshade
Premium
join:2002-05-26
Salem, OR
They wanted their cake and eat it too.
--
True Happiness Must Come From Within

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
said by neosolace:

What did Google really expect to happen?
They expected the FCC to actually do it's job or something?

Noobs!
qworster

join:2001-11-25
Bryn Mawr, PA

It's the FCC, what do you expect?

You know the FCC, the Fusking Corrupt Commission!

The most corrupt of all the govt. agencies by far!
axus

join:2001-06-18
Washington, DC
Reviews:
·Comcast

Hey now

It's better than nothing, right? At least there is some traction for the FCC to make 700Mhz network operators be interoperable.

The Comcast packet forging was already deemed unreasonable network management, I think they can apply the same standards to Verizon. Of course, Martin doesn't always apply the same standards to phone and cable.

Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

You forgot one thing....

while the "hey wow I can actually use my connection" tier -- to be launched at the end of this year -- won't be well marketed and will likely cost a pretty penny.
Then, when users don't flock to the poorly advertised, pricey service, Verizon will declare that the lack of subscribers is proof that people don't want open access. Thus, they will "encourage" the FCC to drop the open access requirement so that the Open Access tier could be canceled.
--
-Jason Levine
Support a children's charity. Buy a calendar. Shooting For A Cause
Jason's Toolbox | PCQandA.com
nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD

Re: You forgot one thing....

that's not 1st step; first step is to pretty much ignore the spirit of the conditions and see if they get yelled at.

if they get yelled at, then they do what you say.

Luker3

join:2004-10-09
Blacksburg, VA

They knew

Google saw this coming a mile away. I don't think they realized how important it was to consumers until now. Bad move on their part and they are trying to make up for it.

whatonearth

@cox.net

Oh, right...

Let's all acknowledge that Verizon is doing a bad thing, but pile on Google like they're no better. Compare Verizon and Google, in your mind. Now do it again, and then explain why we're complaining about Google here.

Dalmatian28

@sfsu.edu

Good job Verizon!

I can't stand Verizon and I do think that they are too greedy but....finely someone is standing up to Google. Google runs those dirty business practices like Apple. They think that they are the only one with a brain and everyone else is a bunch of idiots. They had so much money to spend and buy all of the 700 frequency...they didn't! Now they are crying! Buuuu Good job Verizon!
Mike_343
I Need Speed.

join:2001-07-05
Dyer, IN

1 edit

Re: Good job Verizon!

said by Dalmatian28 :

I can't stand Verizon and I do think that they are too greedy but....finely someone is standing up to Google. Google runs those dirty business practices like Apple. They think that they are the only one with a brain and everyone else is a bunch of idiots. They had so much money to spend and buy all of the 700 frequency...they didn't! Now they are crying! Buuuu Good job Verizon!
umm what dirty buisness practices? Google is nothing like apple. Since when do they sell software and computers or better yet what do they sell to consumers at all?

anon72546

@in.us

Re: Good job Verizon!

One can conclude that they stole their ad software...

But Googles business motto is "Don't be evil."

I have found the greatest ideas are often stolen... from people who are obviously not smart enough to get a patent...

hmmm... weird...
EPS4

join:2008-02-13
Hingham, MA

Too early?

Has VZW even announced or done anything relating to open access end-user policies? Just seems to be paranoia.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: Too early?

Massive amounts of Google PR lip flapping, nothing more. People continue to forget that Google is an advertising company and they are very good at promoting themselves via press release and posturing.

Before the end of the decade they will be as hated as Microsoft is now.
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.

CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

Re: Too early?

And I have yet to figure out why Google got to where it is now - I am flummoxed as to how they did it. Maybe because pure marketing does not sway me in my decisions.

I still use Yahoo because its search is no worse than Google. I have yet to not be able to find anything I search for on Yahoo and I have no need for all of the other free goodies they advertise.

Just like with Apple - I have not swallowed the Kool-Aid and caved adn bought a ixxxx and I won't just like I have no need for Google branded anything.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: Too early?

said by CylonRed:

And I have yet to figure out why Google got to where it is now
Because they offered a decent (superior, IMHO but YMMV) search engine that returned uncluttered results free of any mandate from the corporate overlords to become a "portal"? Because they had a legitimately new idea (at the time) of basing search rankings off the number of sites that link to you, thus returning more relevant results?

said by CylonRed:

I still use Yahoo because its search is no worse than Google.
I would debate that point but even if I concede that it's true today it definitely wasn't true when Google first appeared on the scene. Search used to be a nightmare of less then helpful results and cluttered search engines trying to be everything (portals) and keep you on their sites as long as possible. Google was the first outfit that came up with the theory of getting you OFF their site as quickly as possible by returning relevant results with an uncluttered user interface.

Google has done some things that I'm not real thrilled about (*cough* G-mail privacy policy *cough*) but you are blind if you think they haven't revolutionized search.

CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

Re: Too early?

I don't find anything in Yahoo that is cluttered - I have a MyYahoo so I can see stock and mutual funds I own and see the news in one place all neatly organized (even a couple of years ago). I have yet to come across a search that had any where near different results than Google.

I used Google a few times when it first came out and went - "what is the fuss all about...? It's a search engine." Even with rankings - which in my experience - is not horribly accurate even today. I am just as likely to find the link I need with a ranking of 85% than getting a link ranked at 95+%.

I still have the same reaction today to Google, when I do use it.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
said by RadioDoc:

Before the end of the decade they will be as hated as Microsoft is now.
That would be an epic achievement. They'd have to really start screwing people over for a lot of money in short order to have a chance of reaching that milestone....
--
"Regulatory capitalism is when companies invest in lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians, instead of plant, people, and customer service." - former FCC Chairman William Kennard (A real FCC Chairman, unlike the current Corporate Spokesperson in the job!)

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: Too early?

For a good part of Google's life they were an entrepreneurial private company run by some smart people who liked what they were building. Then the money came, and with it public ownership.

Microsoft paved this path two decades ago. I suggest you read up on what Google has been up to for the last couple of years.
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.

JNels

@pacbell.net

From Big Red . . .

Jeffrey Nelson here at Verizon Wireless. Just want to note:
1) Our open development program is on track, capturing the imagination of developers who we expect will bring new devices and applications to the marketplace later this year. Any company committed to openness encourages this kind of innovation and competition.

2) It's really no surprise that despite not winning spectrum, Google continues to try to change the rules and further their own business interests through the regulatory process. We'll likely file at the Federal Communications Commission within the next several days on this matter.

3) 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.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment. If you want to ping me directly, I'm on Jeffrey.Nelson@VerizonWireless.com