FCC seeks comment on open access rules for wireless networks

The FCC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that pertains to how wireless networks and specialized services should be handled under open access provisions envisioned by the commission.

The FCC is seeking comments on how wireless providers should address transparency, devices and applications.

"The NPRM seeks comment on ‘how, to what extent, and when' openness principles should apply to mobile wireless platforms, with a particular emphasis on furthering innovation, private investment, competition and freedom of expression," the FCC said. "Mobile broadband providers such as AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) have recently introduced pricing plans that charge different prices based on the amount of data a customer uses. The emergence of these new business models may reduce mobile broadband providers' incentives to employ more restrictive network management practices that could run afoul of open Internet principles. Additionally, Verizon and Google issued a proposal for open Internet legislation that would exclude wireless, except for proposed transparency requirements."

When it comes to transparency, the FCC asks how end users, content device and applications companies might make informed decisions about mobile broadband network providers. In addition, the commission wants to know how applications may be tied to the network. "To what extent should mobile wireless providers be permitted to prevent or restrict the distribution or use of types of applications that may intensively use network capacity, or that cause other network management challenges," wrote the FCC. 

The FCC is also questioning whether operators should have their own app stores and if web-based applications should be regulated differently than native applications. "If providers were to be prohibited from denying or restricting access to applications in their capacity as network providers, should they nevertheless have discretion regarding what apps are included in app stores that they operate," the FCC asks.

For more:
- see this RCR Wireless News article

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