Should wireless carriers be required to share their future networks with competitors’ customers? Last year the CTIA argued strongly against that notion and filed a lawsuit against the FCC for requiring open access in the 700 MHz blocks, but dropped its proceedings this week without stating any official reason.
Verizon Wireless won the lion’s share of 700 MHz spectrum with a $4.7 billion bid and supported the open-access requirement. Verizon will become the nation’s largest wireless operator, passing AT&T, when the acquisition of Alltel is complete.
Consumer advocate group Free Press yesterday praised the news.
“This remarkable turn of events demonstrates how skeptical we should be when trade associations cry wolf over policies that are obviously in the public interest,” policy director Ben Scott said.
“Now, quietly, CTIA has dropped its lawsuit and is walking away as if nothing happened and everyone always agreed that openness was grand. If they are relying on Washington’s legendary amnesia to forget this hypocrisy, here is one public interest group that will not comply,” he added.
A CTIA spokesperson could not be reach for comment this morning.