FCC Chief Responds to Tech Industry

The head of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday that the agency was moving to respond to industry concerns about making the Internet open and widely available.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin told a technology industry conference near San Diego that the commission heeded the views of technology industry companies in recent decisions.

“I think you’ve seen the commission, since I’ve become chairman, take some dramatic steps across all platforms in trying to preserve the ability for entrepreneurs to innovate,” Martin said in an interview with Reuters after appearing at the conference.

At the conference, Martin cited among other things the FCC’s decision to impose an open-platform requirement on part of the valuable wireless spectrum the government auctioned off earlier this year.

At the urging of technology companies, such as Google Inc, the FCC required the winner of one block of spectrum to make it an “open platform” accessible to customers using any device or software application.

The winner of that block of airwaves, Verizon Wireless, has promised to support devices and software applications that it does not offer directly itself.

Verizon Wireless is a venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc.
Martin said the requirement also prompted other wireless carriers to take steps to open up their wireless networks as well. Peter Kaplan, Reuters, reports