How Verizon Wireless Puts Politics And Profits Ahead Of Safety

from the take-that,-Nextel... dept

There’s been an ongoing battle recently about what to do about the fact that certain Nextel mobile phones cause interference problems for public safety dispatchers. Unfortunately, the battle has become a big political game between Nextel, the FCC and Verizon Wireless. The main issue here needs to be public safety, and every player in the battle has let politics and profits creep into the question. Today, the FCC finally (after many months of very public wavering on the issue) came out with their compromise plan, which is designed mostly to piss off both sides. Basically, Nextel gets the spectrum it (and Verizon Wireless) wants, but has to pay more for it. All in all, it’s a reasonable compromise in the interest of public safety — which means moving Nextel off of its old spectrum as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, in the ongoing game of politics, it’s looking like Verizon Wireless may follow through on threats to sue to stop this deal (possibly even suing FCC commissioners personally) which would only result in putting more lives at risk. Verizon Wireless should admit that this is a compromise deal. They don’t get the spectrum, but Nextel had to cough up more cash, and in the interest of public safety, it’s time to lock up the lawyers and let this one go.

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