App Flap: Free Press Takes Verizon Criticism to Hill

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Free Press, which says Verizon is violating the terms of use of the
reclaimed broadcast (C block) spectrum it bought at FCC auction, is
taking its case to Capitol Hill. Verizon counters that it has done
nothing wrong.

That so-called C block of spectrum has open-access
conditions on it that require Verizon to open its network to outside
devices and applications.

In letters to the leadership of the
House and Senate Commerce Committees Thursday, Free Press argues that
reports that Verizon Wireless and other carriers got Google to restrict
access to free tethering applications in the Android Market--those apps
turn smart phones into their own free, mobile wi-fi hotspots--means that
Verizon is violating that open access requirement on its spectrum.

Verizon
says it was Google, not Verizon, that removed the apps. "Verizon does
not block applications," the company said in a statement. "Google
manages its own applications store, evaluated the applications in
question, determined that they were in violation of it terms of service
and removed them."

Verizon may not have removed them, but they
wanted them removed. A source familiar with the application take-down
says that Verizon pointed Google to those apps as a violation.

Free
Press had already filed a complaint at the FCC over what it saw as a
violation, but now wants the House Energy & Commerce Committee and
Senate Commerce Committee to look into it.

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