FCC Boss Nixes Bid to Open Up Wireless Networks

Systems already 'open enough,' he says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2008 6:42 AM CDT
FCC boss Kevin Martin has rejected a petition from Skype calling for wireless networks to open themselves up to outside devices.   (Getty Images (by Event))
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The head of the FCC has rejected a request from Skype to open up wireless networks to outside devices, AP reports. The Internet phone provider wanted wireless operations included in a 1968 FCC decision that required AT&T to open up its network beyond its own devices that paved the way for the introduction of things like fax machines and modems.

The wireless industry is already voluntarily opening itself up to outside devices and applications, so it would be "premature" to place extra FCC requirements on the networks, said agency boss Kevin Martin. Critics complained that the decision could hurt consumer rights. "This is not the time for the FCC to withdraw from the fight for open wireless networks," said a Democratic FCC commissioner.