As we've noted previously, FCC chairman Kevin Martin has become a fan of the open access network model for the upcoming 700MHz spectrum auction. "Whoever wins this spectrum has to provideÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦a truly open broadband network--one that will open the door to a lot of innovative services for consumers," Martin told USA Today.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
Martin said that, in practice, this means users will be able to "use any wireless device and download any mobile broadband application, with no restrictions." Unless, of course, the software is illegal or could harm the network, which is a similar caveat that the Carterphone ruling created for wireline networks nearly forty years ago.
If Martin's vision, which he plans to circulate around the FCC today, gets put into practice as a requirement for bidders in the upcoming 700MHz, it would only be required of service providers who make use of that spectrum, not the already existing wireless business.
"I am concerned that we are seeing some innovations being rolled out more slowly here than we are in other parts of the world," Martin said. He explained that stripping out WiFi functionality from handsets and "locking" phones to a particular carrier's network are two practices that might be slowing the U.S.'s ability to innovate when it comes to wireless.
For more on Martin's 700MHz comments:
- read this article from USA Today