700 MHz Update: Will VZ comply with the rules?

Last Friday (HT::  IPDemocracy), Google filed a petition [PDF] asking that the Commission ensure that Verizon understands what those “open platform” requirements for the C Block really mean.  Verizon has taken the position in the past that its own devices won’t be subject to the “open applications” and “open handsets” requirements of the C Block rules, and Google says it is concerned that Verizon doesn’t plan to follow those requirements in the future. This is big.  Here’s the background. In the 700 MHz auction rules, the Commission noted that public…

Comparative internet law

Alan Davidson visited Yale Law School today, speaking to my Internet Law class and to a large lunchtime group.  Key takeaway for me::  the center of gravity of internet policy is not so much in Washington any more.  Discussions of Issues like ISP filtering and data retention are taking place in Europe with enormous energy.  There things we might take for granted here – like avoiding online content regulation, or the undesirability of using ISPs as private police – are actively considered. At the same time, Alan points out, architectural…

Google and the white spaces

The white spaces proceeding is the next big opportunity for experiments in alternative ways of providing wireless highspeed internet access. I’ve written about this here, here, here, and here. When the DTV transition happens in Feb. 2009, channels 2 through 51 will remain allocated for television transmission.  Few of the nation’s television markets actually use 49 channels.  Indeed, most use less than half of that number. :  The “white spaces” are these unused television channels, which amount to approximately 300 MHz of frequencies. According to Blair Levin, “[e]stimates vary, but most…

Verizon and Google

It was pointed out to me today that, notwithstanding all the good-vibes PR over the last few days, (1) Verizon will still be selling crippled-but-subsidized phones in its retail outlets (so who will choose an open device?) and (2) Verizon will still be able to charge content providers/application providers differential fees for use of its wireless network. Given these points, it’s hard to get too excited about the Verizon announcement, which was really designed as… a signal to Google: “Don’t bother with getting involved in the 700 MHz auction –…

Making the wireless world more web-friendly

Your wireless carrier (in the U.S., probably AT&T or Verizon Wireless) has a lot of control over the handset you can use and the applications that can run on that device. In fact, wireless carriers routinely ask for (and get) an enormous slice of the revenue from applications that work on their networks, and they force handset manufacturers to jump through all kinds of hoops in order to be allowed to sell devices that can connect to these networks. (You can’t, usually, buy devices except through the wireless carrier itself.)…