Wed, Jan 28th 2009 9:33am
As debate over the massive economic stimulus bill continues, the trade group representing US mobile operators has weighed in, with its head, former-NFL-star-turned-congressman-turned-shill Steve Largent, saying that unless open-access rules are removed from the broadband section of the bill, carriers will be "hesitant to participate". News to Steve: the stimulus bill, and this section, aren't necessarily intended merely to further line the pockets of incumbent mobile operators. While he thinks open-access rules "will deter providers from taking advantage of the grant program," one would have to imagine that if incumbents sat on the sidelines, plenty of new entrants would be more than willing to open their businesses to the government support and use it to craft new mobile broadband networks that would provide some much-needed competition in the space. Furthermore, such open access requirements didn't stop Verizon from shelling out several billion dollars for spectrum licenses last year. It seems that the CTIA loves it some stimulus -- as long as it doesn't stimulate any potential competition for its members.
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