In a move likely to have far reaching implications for both businesses and consumers alike, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has stated that whoever wins the forthcoming auction for the much-coveted 700 MHz spectrum must provide a "truly open broadband network." According to USA Today, Martin says that the only exceptions would be for "software that is illegal or could harm a network," leaving the network otherwise open for anyone to "use any wireless device and download any mobile broadband application, with no restrictions." The spectrum, being vacated by television broadcasters moving to digital TV, is expected to fetch some big bucks when it goes up on the auction block, with the FCC Chairman himself touting it as a "third pipe to the home." While Martin doesn't have any plans to extend the openness requirement to other parts of the wireless business, he does think this new move could pressure carriers to change their tactics, saying it "sends an important message."

[Via Phonescoop, photo courtesy of USA Today]

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FCC Chairman says 700 MHz spectrum must be open