FCC: We Won’t Regulate Wireless Net-Neutrality as Hard as Wired, Because Android is Open Source

fcc-logoYou read that title correctly. Net neutrality regulation over the wireless spectrum isn’t as necessary because Android is open source. How the FCC went square-peg round-hole on this one is beyond my pay scale. Engadget is busy picking apart the FCC’s statement regarding the recent vote that has managed to piss off both sides of the table.

Engadget pulled this from the FCC’s statement:

Further, we recognize that there have been meaningful recent moves toward openness, including the introduction of open operating systems like Android. In addition, we anticipate soon seeing the effects on the market of the openness conditions we imposed on mobile providers that operate on upper 700 MHz C-Block spectrum, which includes Verizon Wireless, one of the largest mobile wireless carriers in the U.S.

In light of these considerations, we conclude it is appropriate to take measured steps at this time to protect the openness of the Internet when accessed through mobile broadband.

It may be fair to say that they want to take it at a slower pace and see how the private sector hashes it out with wireless internet being relatively new to the game, only showing its true potential within the last three years. But the FCC could at least go with something a little more related. I didn’t wake up earlier than normal this morning because school children had steamed carrots for lunch six weeks ago.

[via Engadget | Full FCC Release in PDF form]

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  • Dave

    The reason is scarce wireless spectrum.

  • Dave

    From just before that paragraph

    “In addition, existing mobile networks
    present operational constraints that fixed broadband networks do not typically encounter. This puts
    greater pressure on the concept of “reasonable network management” for mobile providers, and creates
    additional challenges in applying a broader set of rules to mobile at this time.”

  • Jonathan Drake

    Of course Linux on the desktop doesn’t count because it’s fake OSS, only OSS from big corporations actually counts. Ignore OpenSolaris too, that doesn’t count.

  • Anderl

    Yeah they won’t regulated it as much. So when Verizon decided to gimp Google Maps or charge you $15 a month for access to it any only $10 a month for Verizon Navigator when you cry to the FCC what will they say?

    Sorry we aren’t in the business of regulating Wireless.

  • Feech

    What does a operating system have to do with Net neutrality? In fact I would argue we need net neutrality because of Android

  • Myria

    Given that the FCC’s attempts to impose “Net Neutrality” are going to last about 35 seconds before a court injunction puts an end to it — AGAIN… Who cares what they have to say either way?

  • michael

    There is nothing even close the “Net Neutrality” in the FCC decision; it’s a gift to Big Telco.

    Calling this “Net Neutrality” is akin to giving businesses a license to pollute and calling it “Clear Skies Initiative.” Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  • Jeff

    That statement is emblematic of why the government needs to stay out of this type of thing. It doesn’t understand what’s going on and, even with the best of intentions, will muck things up badly.

  • Fury

    So.. Net neutrality doesn’t apply to cellular data sticks being used as a primary internet connection for a customer?

    Do they even realise where the “wireless spectrum” will be in 10 years? It’s going to be the main internet connection for a lot of people.

    Sigh.. I LOVE how forward thinking these organizations are.

  • bill

    For all you suckers who wanted Government regulating the internet, you asked for it, you got it….bwahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahah

    Since when has government been fair, efficient and efffective in anything they touch? The Statement about Android being open source, which has NOTHING to do with net neutrality, should be your first big clue that government involvement of the Internet is going to be a big “Foxtrot Uniform” from the get go.

  • lol

    uhh jeff you completely missed the point. government didnt muck this up. they didnt do ENOUGH. what they did do is an improvement.

  • Elmer Wabbit

    Stupid, really stupid kids believe government is good. Washington DC to control what you see and when.

    Fumb ducks…..

  • Micah

    I’m all for open source, but the open source side of android is what makes as almost need net neutrality even more. It’s far easier for people to do what they want on android. So it’s easier for a company to get away with what it wants on android.

  • mightybrick

    The reason the internet has been as successful and innovative as it has is because the government hasn’t been involved. Get the government involved and they’ll muck everything up. The government couldn’t even turn a profit with a brothel.

  • Another Jeff

    mightybrick-I’d suggest you read up about the history of the internet. The internet was created by the US government and has been controlled by the US government for most of its existence. You sound like one of the brilliant senior citizens who protested healthcare reform because they didn’t want the government involved in Medicare.

    As to the government not being able to make a profit, do you mean like GM, AIG, Bank of America, and all the other fabulous free-market endeavors that are still here only because the government saved them?

  • deckard

    Net neutrality is code for government takeover. The internet has grown over the past 20 years precisely because the government has had no say in it. Net neutrality will do to the internet what the fairness doctrine almost did to AM radio.

    Look what has happened in the past 25 years. We went from BBS’s to AOL/Compuserve, to dial up ISP, to ISDN, then DSL and Cable, to fiber optic, and now we are on the verge of every major wireless carrier to launch their own wireless high speed service. All of this was done without the governments help. Why has this happened? Because companies have raced to fill the need, in pursuit of profits. If the government in the name of “fairness and neutrality” regulates this, it will reduce opportunities for companies to make profits and reduce innovation and progress.

    Let the market take care of this, not the government. The internet has grown exponentially simply because there has been no government to regulate it and get in the way.

  • daniel

    @deckard agreed just another way for government control. Ever heard of John Titor google it. Its pretty interesting…

  • vertig0730

    I hate to ask but, does this mean that it would be illegal for a US sites to block someone based on their browser or hardware? Could Google TV win?

  • Jeff

    @lol,

    I didn’t say the government did muck things up – I said they WILL muck things up. The internet has thrived without government involvement.

  • Don

    @16. deckard
    “Net neutrality is code for government takeover. The internet has grown over the past 20 years precisely because the government has had no say in it.”

    That’s exactly backwards. The internet has grown in large part BECAUSE of the net neutrality imposed by the government. If you want the next Google to have a chance, it needs to be able to compete on equal ground and not have its packets unfairly slowed by the existing giants, such as Google. The reason the first Google was able to compete with AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, and other existing giants of the early internet is that its packets were treated identically to everyone else’s, so its success or failure was determined solely by the quality of its algorithms. Isn’t that what we want?

  • IncrediBill

    @daniel – Nothing about John Titor is interesting. All claims are unfalsifiable, and therefore deserve no credit. I am a little stupider for knowing about Titor(if that’s possible). I prefer HG Wells, which is at least very good fictional literature.

  • deckard

    @Don. You are comparing apples to oranges. Google succeeded because their idea was better, and by the time everyone else figured out what they were doing, it was too late. This is the way the free market works. Microsoft and apple did not put faith in the cloud and thought that OS’s would matter, Government regulation is what screws things up, not makes it better. A fact not taught in schools–FDR’s policies actually lengthened the great depression by 6-8 years–UCLA study…in other words…Government regulation stifled the ability of the free market system to self correct. A different situation, but it is an object lesson as to what happens when the government gets involved to “make things right.”

    The FCC is jumping into this and what they fear, has not happened yet. This is a power grab. Plain and simple. And what will happen is that in the name of fairness, and ridiculous need regulate, is that innovation and competition will stifle the growth of the internet.

    ISP’s have the right, if they are building the infrastructure of a network, to treat bandwidth hogging services the way they want. What will happen? The market will adjust. People will either accept the changes or go to a provider that will provide them with a better service. Goverment regulation is like pouring concrete mix into water. It makes a once changeable thing into something that cannot change without a jackhammer.

  • justin.g11

    @Deckard “You are comparing apples to oranges. Google succeeded because their idea was better, and by the time everyone else figured out what they were doing, it was too late. This is the way the free market works.”

    And if the “industry standard” controls the means of distribution it won’t matter how much better the idea is … because they wont have the capital to get it out and “everyone else” will have plenty of time to figure it out and distribute it much more successfully.

    Free market is a double edge sword. Technically cartels and monopolies are completely legal in truly “Free markets”… but even more libertarians will agree that’s going too far. The competition grounds need to be level … and those grounds happen to be airspace that is federally regulated … or at least should be.

  • deckard

    Google was started buy some guys in college? They had no money, but a good idea. How is this fair when they are going up against giants like Yahoo and Microsoft. But they did it? They succeeded, and their success was purely on their own merit. They did not get a leg up, or did they have the playing field leveled.

    You are creating a red herring. Companies come and go all the time. Once powerful entities, like IBM are now in the perifery because they became to big and bureaucratic and thus were unable to see the changes they needed to make in order to adjust.

    If Google does not stay forward thinking, some little startup will appear at first as a small meaningless little ditty, and before anyone knows it will change things. Ever heard of Facebook

    Oh and companies have yet to do any of what the government fears. If it starts happening, then we can talk about making changes. But this is government control. And its something no one should every want.

  • deckard

    please excuse the typos in my above comment…by not buy….But they did it should have a period…a bit embarrassed by those…

  • Franco

    The FTC decision makes sense. They were getting at the fact that android is a direct competitor to the cell phone networks.

    Most urban dwellers can connect to wifi, and will do more so reducing or eliminating their reliance on wireless carriers. Were android not open, but controlled by carriers this would not be allowed, though Nokia has also been rather customer friendly.

    Interestingly, the reason Nokia largely failed in the US is that it did not allow carriers as much latitude in controlling the average consumer, advocating instead the consumer friendly practices encouraged in Europe.

    Android + Nokia = net neutrality – free voice calls – reasonable cell charges.

    Spread the word.

  • peter

    This article is a VERY narrow view of the issue. This one is much better:
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/12/net-neutrality-and-the-fcc.ars?comments=1#comments-bar