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Skype to FCC: open up those cellular networks, please

Darren Murph
02.22.07
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It's painfully obvious just how tight cellular providers have control over how their networks are used, which features are enabled, and what handsets are locked, but Skype is hoping to chip away a bit more at the mighty provider stranglehold by suggesting that wireless networks be made to carry Skype calls. In a recent petition to the FCC, Skype is purportedly "asking regulators to force cellphone carriers to loosen their controls on what kinds of hardware and software can be connected to their networks," essentially paving the way for free calls to be made over costly connections. Skype is asking that the so-called Carterfone rules (circa 1968) be applied to the wireless industry, which basically "allowed consumers to hook any device up to the phone network, so long as it did not harm the network." Unsurprisingly, carriers are less than enthralled about the notion, and a cellular trade group has already reacted by calling Skype's proposal one that "completely disregards consumer benefits provided by a competitive marketplace," which is certainly nominated for laughable statement of the year. As of now, no other companies are putting their collective necks out to join Skype's agenda, but hopefully it won't remain solo for too much longer.

[Via ArsTechnica]

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