Verizon Wireless: Scrap Network Neutrality

from the who-needs-rules dept

A Verizon Wireless exec told a House committee hearing on the telecom reform bill that network neutrality provisions shouldn’t apply to wireless carriers, because, well, just because, really. The exec contends that wireless operators should “have the right to manage their network and the devices that can be used with that network” — which sounds like an open-ended way of saying they should be able to decide what content and services people using their network access. “Network management” will become a euphemism for “content blocking”, with financial considerations, not technical ones, driving the decisions. If carriers are going to advertise unlimited service, they need to sell open, unlimited service, not not pretend there aren’t capacity constraints, then hide restrictions in fine print and selectively block services that compete with their own. There’s not much point in the operators trying to hide their sentiments, as it’s pretty clear they’ll go to drastic measures to get what they want. If there were real competition in the market, these types of regulations wouldn’t be necessary, because any provider that started blocking applications would get destroyed by consumers. But when there isn’t any real competition, the market doesn’t do a great job of regulating itself.

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Comments on “Verizon Wireless: Scrap Network Neutrality”

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Longwinn says:

No Competition?!?!

I hate to say it, but what rock did you just crawl out from under. Competition in the wireless sector is alive and well. Verizon only has the largest mileage of coverage because they’re the most expensive provider out there and funnels that money into growing their network. If other mobile service providers had the same drive and could put their money where their mouths are, you’d be seing them adding similar restrictions. The business model holds true for each and every single one of the mobile providers out there. All cell phones are created by manufacturers to the specifications of the wireless provider. Motorola phones are the kingpin of this gimping. So before you cry monopoly, look up the defenition and start researching how many cell providers exist and how many of them spend as much capital annually to build the largest network for the sake of their needy wireless users.

John says:

Re: No Competition?!?!

It’s an oligopoly right now, not a monopoly, but the point being made in the post stands. The providers have the ability to lock in users with long term contracts and they all seem to have the same draconian terms.

Hopefully some of the new MVNOs will add *real* competition to the space, but I’m not holding my breath.

evergreendrive says:

Re: No Competition?!?!

Verizon Wireless is by far the worst when it comes to restricting use and attempting to sell you that they aren’t. Locking down features on phones and trying to charge you an arm and a leg for messaging unless everyone you know has a verizon phone is their new campaign. The Vcast(EV-DO) content is the same garbage content that is peddled to MTV type viewers.

Cellular carriers as a whole are attempting a monopoly on the business. They are trying to shut down and restrict third party sites unless they are under their control, that’s the point i think he was trying to make. I buy unlocked phones since i can use a lot more applications and features unrestricted like the opera mini web browser which works for pretty much every phone now except of course those on verizon because they use stupid BREW instead of Java. VZW has problems, and users wanting flexible use of their technology the way it was designed to be will continue to leave them. I even ate the early termination fee to rid myself of them.

LoneWolf (user link) says:

Its a pity

Quite a pitty that all the telecom company’s are being so hostile towards various services and not really providing the “unlimited access” that they display in giant letters on my TV screen. I was very interested in perhaps purchasing Verizons wireless broadband service but to have to pay $100+ for equiptment, $60 a month for service, be on a contract, and not be able to use it as I please. That isn’t much of a bargain.

Erick Erickson (user link) says:

I don't really object to this

It’s one thing to do it to a residential customer who, though getting broadband from the provider, has a very fast connection, infrastructure, third party products, etc. I think it is a whole different ball game when you are using the Cingular/Verizon/etc. network with their provided phone and a network that, for the most part, uses their towers, etc for less overall speed.

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