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In Letter, Skype Hits Wireless Industry

9/15/2008 03:35:00 PM Eastern

San Jose, Calif. — In a letter submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the eBay-owned VoIP firm Skype accused the wireless industry of impeding consumer choice and skirting Commission policy.

“Instead of broadly carrying forward the Commission’s tremendous strides toward open networks, the word coming from the CTIA gathering is that open networks present a multitude of problems for the carriers, and that to protect consumers from too many choices, network operators must be the gatekeepers of the consumer experience,” the letter stated. “This is inconsistent with the Commission’s Broadband Policy Statement and a market structure that maximizes choice and innovation.”

Skype has been attempting to convince regulators that cellular carrier’s terms of service are too restrictive. Many of these terms prohibit consumers from loading third party applications, such as Skype, onto their phones.

FCC chairmen Kevin Martin sounded a skepitcal note in April about Skype’s proposal to apply “Carterfone” rules to the wireless network — rules that would allow any device or application to run on the network,

provided it did not damage it. However, the FCC is still considering Skype's petition.

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