The auction bell has rung, the winners have been announce, and the communications embargo has been lifted. Yet, at least one company still wants to dispute the results of the 700 MHz auction. And wouldn’t you know, it’s Google, they of the open access provision. They’re arguing that Verizon essentially plans to ignore openness by applying their own brand of corporate logic. If Verizon plans to go ahead as planned, Google argues that they should not be awarded the valuable spectrum.
Here’s the basic deal. The rules for the C Block say that the winner “may not disable features on handsets it provides to customers.” Somehow, though, Verizon is claiming that the rules do not apply to its own handsets. So, to review: Verizon says that “handsets it provides to customers” excludes handsets it provides to customers.
So it appears that Verizon thinks that the open access provision only applies to third party handsets, as they have laid out themselves in their open handset program. Here’s a thought for speculation: Did Verizon create the open handset program solely to circumvent auction rules?
I can’t wait to see Verizon’s reaction to these allegations. With the hostile nature of the accusations, I don’t think Verizon will be so friendly in reply.