Thursday, February 22, 2007

Carriers cripple Bluetooth


Verizon typically requires handset makers disable Bluetooth's file transfer capabilities on their handsets, according to a petition Skype filed with the FCC yesterday. That's because the carrier wants its users to download camera phone pictures to a paid Verizon Web site rather than directly to their local PCs, the petition said.
See more stories about these restrictions here and here.

The crazy restriction is just of a laundry list from US cellular service providers who exercise an iron grip on their nets. Skype's FCC petition and an opinion paper from Columbia University law professor Tim Wu are bringing these practices to light and calling for more open cellular nets.

If you know of any similar practice, this is a good time to chime in. You can make a posting here, drop me an email at rbmerrit@cmp.com or stay tuned for when the FCC puts the issue up for public comment. I will post a link to that public commente site here when it becomes available.

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