Verizon Wireless (VZ, VOD) Sues FCC To Keep Airwaves Closed


Verizon Wireless is suing the FCC in federal appeals court over the recently announced rules for next year’s wireless spectrum auction, RCR Wireless News reports. Verizon, the second-biggest U.S. wireless carrier, wants the FCC to strike down rules it announced in July, which require spectrum owners to operate “open” networks that work with any wireless device and any software application.

That’s drastically different from today’s cellular industry, where carriers like Verizon control which phones and software applications people can use on their network. Companies like Google (GOOG) and a coalition led by NY’s Amol Sarva (Txtbl CEO and Virgin Mobile USA co-founder) lobbied hard for the open-access rules, while Verizon staunchly opposed them.

Verizon says the FCC’s auction “violates the U.S. Constitution, violates the Administrative Procedures Act… and is arbitrary, capricious, unsupported by the substantial evidence and otherwise contrary to law.” Translation: If we spend billions on airwaves, we want to control their use.

See Also: What The FCC Auction Rules Mean — Less Than You Think, Verizon Caves to Google (Partially) In Spectrum War