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FCC lacks a backbone

Ever since the rules for the 700 MHz auction were announced in August, we’ve been gently singing the praises of the FCC. It took some guts to put the open-access provision in the rules, but the FCC stuck to their guns and decided to give Americans something they deserved: the chance to not be hampered by the big telecom companies. Unfortunately, the big telecoms are the ones that will give the government the most money for the spectrum, so it appears that the open-access provision might have been a hollow showing. Yes, FCC Kevin Martin appears to be caving to Verizon, who sued the FCC over the rules.

Sources said Martin is now attempting to use a different policymaking vehicle—a declaratory ruling—to modify the auction’s open-access guidelines in a way that responds to concerns raised by Verizon Wireless executives at a Sept. 17 meeting with Martin, his staff and Fred Campbell, chief of the FCC’s wireless bureau.

Key industry players are worried Martin wants to water down the open-access conditions outside of the normal public-comment process.

That would really be a shame. So the FCC would condone the continuance of Verizon’s stranglehold on the industry. Consumers are being rung out by Verizon, but are blissfully unaware. Well, most people at least. This is the kind of thing that gets our blood boiling. Why does our government allow these companies to screw everyone over? Oh yeah, because those companies give big money to the government, so a blind eye is turned.

So now because Verizon wants the rules changed, and because Verizon stands to bid the most money, the FCC will step down from its laurels and do Verizon’s bidding. Does this sound wrong to anyone else?

This is just another reason to go prepaid and get your phone unlocked (if applicable).

[RCR Wireless News]