FCC: Enough"advantageous regulatory filings"

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin brushed off companies seeking "advantageous regulatory rulings" from the commission, saying that the FCC "doesn't want to get caught up dealing with these." Martin then declared the wireless industry is "the most competitive industry that the FCC regulates" since prices are falling and market penetration worldwide continues to increase.

The commentary comes weeks after Skype filed a high-profile petition to the FCC that sought to clarify whether Carterphone rules apply to wireless networks. Carterphone rules were applied to PSTN networks in the late '60s and allowed phone makers to attach any non-harmful device to AT&T's network. Such rules would force wireless carriers to allow handset makers to attach any "non-harmful" mobile phone or other wireless-enabled device to their networks. One key factor influencing the thinking behind the decision is whether or not there is sufficient competition in the wireless industry. Since Skype filed the petition, it would certainly be an "advantageous regulatory ruling" for the VoIP service provider, should it come to fruition. While Martin did not specifically mention the Skype case, his commentary seemed to speak to it.

Martin, however, said the FCC wishes to focus on the upcoming spectrum auction: determine whether appropriate allocation rules are in place, take into account public safety issues given the location of the spectrum and be sure the process for buying spectrum is going to work. -Brian

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