After throwing rural carriers a bone last week -- seemingly in an effort to cool down federal investigations into anti-competitive behavior -- Verizon's not getting a lot of love back from the Rural Cellular Association, the group of some 100 or so of the country's smallest networks, which is saying that "the commitment does not go far enough to rectify the consumer and competitive harms caused by these agreements." The "commitment" the RCA's referring to is Verizon's promise to offer carriers with 500,000 or fewer subscribers access to Verizon-exclusive handsets after six months -- but for one thing, the offer apparently excludes products like the BlackBerry Storm, which you can imagine small carriers would have a keen interest in picking up as a hero device (with a decent firmware installed, naturally). The RCA also makes reference to the fact that about 180 million of the nation's wireless customers wouldn't see any benefit from the offer, presumably a shot at Verizon's 500,000-subscriber cap. The response from Big Red is flippant, to say the least -- "they don't need to accept the offer," says a spokesman -- so we wouldn't expect it to get any sweeter without a fight.

[Via Phone Scoop]

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Rural carriers scoff at Verizon's exclusivity compromise