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FCC Looks To Offer Consumers More Wireless Choice

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the wiggle-room-seems-a-bit-overenthusiastic dept.

United States 65

An anonymous reader writes "The FCC is butting heads with wireless phone companies over 'wiggle room' the government organization wishes to allow consumers. Along with the move to the auction system, the government is removing restrictions on pieces of the wireless spectrum, which will allow a freedom of choice not usually seen with wireless communication devices. 'In the past, when the F.C.C. auctioned spectrum for cellular service, it allowed the winners to determine the equipment and applications that would run on their networks. That created the current status quo, in which a vast majority of American consumers buy a handset from a wireless service provider. The open-access rules, which will apply to about one-third of the spectrum being sold at the auction, represent a significant departure from past practice. They require the winners to let consumers use any tested, safe and compatible device or application on its network. Entrepreneurs could sell handsets with capabilities that are unavailable -- or unavailable at affordable prices -- from current carriers.'"

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Good News (1, Interesting)

peterjb31 (1108781) | more than 6 years ago | (#21058951)

Sounds like good news to me, it will increase competition.

Re:Good News (4, Informative)

ciscoguy01 (635963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059361)

This will absolutely increase competition.
The current status quo where the carriers keep a stranglehold on the equipment supply and use it as a method of keeping their customers signed to two year contracts is outrageous.
We should be able to buy our equipment from any reseller and use it on any compatible network. Then there would be competition and the prices of phones would decline and the features we really want would be made available.

Re:Good News (1, Insightful)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059579)

You already can buy equipment from any reseller and use it on any compatible network. You just have to pay for it without the Cell company subsidizing part of the cost. In other words you won't be paying $49.99 for that cell phone, you'll be paying it's REAL cost of $349.99.

Where are the cheap BYOP service plans? (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059757)

You already can buy equipment from any reseller and use it on any compatible network. You just have to pay for it without the Cell company subsidizing part of the cost. In other words you won't be paying $49.99 for that cell phone, you'll be paying it's REAL cost of $349.99.
So why don't retail stores across the United States sell phones separately from service plans? And why don't the four major carriers advertise bring-your-own-phone plans with a lower monthly fee than the subsidized-phone plans?

Re:Where are the cheap BYOP service plans? (3, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060187)

Because the market for such phones is not sufficiently large for their to be a significant B&M presence.

That's why you only see unlocked phones from specialty online retailers such as Mobileplanet and some manufacturers, such as Motorola.

Note: This only applies (essentially) to AT&T and T-Mobile, the two major GSM carriers in the U.S. Unfortunately, while the modulation scheme and protocol suite of cdmaOne/CDMA2000 are superior to GSM, GSM has one major advantage - The use of a standardized SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) is mandatory for GSM handsets, meaning all you need is a SIM from the carrier and a phone either from the carrier or a vendor of non-carrier-locked handsets (such as Mobileplanet).

AT&T and T-Mobile allow bring-your-own-handset but don't advertise it because, in reality, there is unfortunately no market for it, and they would prefer for users to use the carrier's handsets, for two reasons:

Sometimes features of carrier-branded handsets are crippled to make the user have to pay for extra features (See Verizon and Bluetooth DUN on the Treo 650).

Sometimes carrier-branded handsets have extra marketing/"features" designed to get you to pay for services from the carrier. (Such as the built-in "XM Radio" app on AT&T versions of HTC devices.)

Those two reasons are why you never see "BYOD" discounts, similarly you don't see service discounts for non-contract-subsidized phones from the carriers. Your "discount" is the fact that you are not locked into a contract.

Re:Where are the cheap BYOP service plans? (2, Insightful)

ciscoguy01 (635963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060669)

There are *no* plans like that.
I tried to get a number with Cingular, now AT&T- without a contract. There was no way.
I had my own phone, I just needed a SIM and I didn't want a 2 year deal, which since they are not subsidizing my phone I should have been able to get.
NOPE. There was no way. It was not available. I went to the local store, I called their tollfree number. Went to a reseller. NOPE.

Neither Sprint nor Verizon will activate a foreign phone, and with CDMA it's not a matter of sticking your SIM in the phone. You gotta ask "mother may I" to get activated.

The best thing that could possibly happen is the carriers become pure carriers and the phone sales are through retailers. Then there would be a whole wall full of different phones at Walmart at competitive prices. There would be price rollbacks too!

The phone carriers have all their phones marked up greatly so they can give you a giant fake discount when you sign your two year deal. That all needs to go away.

It seems from the news story the FCC is going to force the carriers to open their service to whatever device you want to put on it, and that is going to be a condition of the spectrum auction.
It can't happen soon enough!

Re:Where are the cheap BYOP service plans? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21068203)

"The phone carriers have all their phones marked up greatly so they can give you a giant fake discount when you sign your two year deal. That all needs to go away."

Then why is it that phones that do not originate from the carriers are so much more expensive? The carriers are not marking up prices on the hardware at all to provide a "perceived" discount. They are providing significant discounts for subsidized phones, and are basically selling carrier-locked but non-subsidized phones at cost.

The non-contract non-subsidized price (but SIMlocked) of a typical phone directly from a GSM carrier is significantly less than the same phone sold unlocked from a non-carrier entity. See, for example, non-contract but SIMlocked HTC Kaiser (AT&T Tilt) for $549, while the unlocked Kaiser variant (HTC TyTn II) is typically $779-799.

I don't know about initial service, but I know plenty of people have purchased non-contract-subsidized Tilts and not had their contracts extended because of it.

I have a feeling that it is possible to obtain initial service without a contract, it is just that AT&T will make it as hard as possible to do so and/or their customer service reps aren't competent enough to do it. It's a problem with basically all wireless carriers (and pretty much all companies in general) - the majority of their customer service reps aren't competent enough to handle the "tough/unusual" stuff, just the "standard bread and butter" stuff.

Re:Where are the cheap BYOP service plans? (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060241)

Almost every store DOES sell them without a contract. You'll note the little price next to the big price that is a few hundred dollars higher. They don't like to because thats not their job. It may not be obvious but the option IS there. As for cheaper plans why would they? If you bring your own phone it's more money in their pocket...

Re:Where are the cheap BYOP service plans? (1)

ciscoguy01 (635963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063171)

Well, that is subterfuge.
They sell those non contract phones, sure. Ya know who buys them? People who have lost their phone and have 18 months left on their contract, without a phone they have to pay and get nothing. They are always carrier locked too.
It's hardly a competitive market for multi network non-contract phones. It's all fake.
A number of years ago they had to set a price without a contract to set the price of the phone for sales tax purposes. What the phone companies were doing was giving out free phones, or cheap phones, and paying the state of California the sales tax on the $49 you paid. They had to stop, since the phone was actually being sold for $300 but you were only paying the $49, and they were in essence paying for the rest of your phone, in exchange for you signing that contract.
That's why when you buy a $49 phone (at least in California) you get sales taxed on $299. They were cheating the state, they had to stop when they got caught.
It costs quite a bit of money for a carrier to aquire a cellular customer, for advertising, sales expenses, commissions (All those people at those phone stores are on commission, you know. A large amount, too. Some make $100,000 a year selling you your phone, or even giving it to you "free".)
It's much cheaper for them to keep you on contract than to get someone to replace you. That's why they have those cheap phones and long contracts, and unlocked phones if available cost SO much more. Good for them. Not so good for you.

Duopoly > monopoly, right? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063243)

Almost every store DOES sell them without a contract. You'll note the little price next to the big price that is a few hundred dollars higher.
I'm willing to spend $300 more on a handset if it's not subsidy-locked, it's not crippled, and I get $12.50 per month knocked off the first 24 months of my bill. What should be done to make such a business model viable in the States?

As for cheaper plans why would they? If you bring your own phone it's more money in their pocket...
Because it's money in AT&T's pocket that doesn't go into T-Mobile's pocket, or vice versa. In theory, a duopoly should have some of the benefits of a competitive market that a monopoly lacks.

Re:Duopoly monopoly, right? (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21108109)

Yes two is greater than one but then again we have two political parties, soviet russia only had one. Last I checked neither of them gave two shits about the people... Semper Fi

Re:Good News (1)

goodie3shoes (573521) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060159)

Relative freedom is possible now, if you're willing to make some sacrifices. Buy an unlocked GSM phone. Tmobile has (or at least had) in the US a SIM-only program. I showed up with my phone, they gave me the SIM. I've moved it to another phone, they neither know nor care, though I don't get the "benefit" of their pushed software updates. And when/if I travel to Europe, Asia, South America, I buy a local SIM, get a local number, and am not skarood by unreasonable international roaming charges.

Re:Good News (2, Interesting)

schmiddy (599730) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060161)

I'm glad to see the FCC taking this small first step, but I don't have a lot of hope for how much this would help. When you think about it, all the sleazy monopolistic telecom companies are basically offering the exact same service: transferring bits from one end of a network to another. Of course, instead of treating this service like what it is (i.e. a commodity) and charging appropriately, the telecoms love pretending that they're offering something unique and, of course, charging excessively for it. Witness the outrageous rates for text messages (which should cost a fraction of what a voice call costs), EDGE/GPRS (voice calls are already almost always transferred digitally.. and yet the telecoms pretend they've built separate special data-only networks that you must pay an extra $50/month for), "Powerboost" from Comcast (who is RST'ing bittorrent conns to eke out the bandwidth to do this).

If the FCC really wants to help us consumers, how about freeing up a reasonable portion of the spectrum, that's not competing with microwave ovens and cordless phones, for free use in consumer devices. Maybe then we could solve the "last mile problem" our own damn selves without depending on these crooked telecoms who seem to only be concerned with merging with each other, eating up government handouts, and ignoring consumer complaints.

also, more pussy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21058953)

HOW TO GET A FEMALE TO LET YOU FUCK HER!

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THE INITIAL ENCOUNTER AND COURTSHIP

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BREAKING THE ICE

At this point, you should already be sending out sexual signs to let the female know her mind and brains are NOT your only interest! Look down at her tits WHILE you are talking to her. DO NOT GAWK AT THEM, but simply let her know that you've noticed that she has a PRETTY decent set of tits! If she is still receptive of your advances, you are already 20% there!! It is now time to BACK OFF !! You have accomplished your first step in your journey toward Sexual gratification! She will need a day or two to digest your encounter. With any LUCK, she will have bragged to a few of her friends about you. This will REALLY put the final nail in her Vaginal coffin, and make her an extremely easy target! When ever you see her, keep smiling, and keep letting her know that you are STILL very interested in her. If you have a chance to chat with her, REMEMBER to pay her compliments like 'How PRETTY her hair looks, or what a LOVELY dress she is wearing, or how INTOXICATING her perfume is! It is now time to move in on your prey like a frigging MAD dog in HEAT!!

LET THE CHASE BEGIN!

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BAITING YOUR HOOK

To begin your physical assault of your chosen female! You must realize that you simply can not rip off her clothing and just FUCK her! It must be done with a smooth and sophisticated technique... It is now mandatory that you relate to this female that you care DEEPLY about her! You must make her feel that she is the ONLY female in the world that you have any genuine feelings for... Once she believes that, ANYTHING is possible!! The next step is to lure her into your apartment when nobody else is home. If this is not possible, get her in a car and drive to a secluded area. If there are no secluded areas, or lover's lanes in your neighborhood, try the back of the Cemetery or in back of an empty warehouse or even in a vacant garage. You have now arrived at the CRUCIAL point where this female must be reassured that she is 'THE SPECIAL GIRL IN YOUR LIFE' (At least for this evening!) It is now the proper time for your Sexual Assault on her to begin! Foreplay is the most crucial and final step in your master Game Plan! It requires gentleness, and the understanding of her inner fears. Unless you have selected a totally clueless bitch, she has some idea of the situation that she is about to get herself into. Also, keep in mind that females enjoy sexual stimulation as much as males, so you will actually be doing her a favor, if you do it right! It must be pleasurable for her, or she may decide to reject your advances! Look this female directly in the eyes, smile slightly and tell her that she has the most beautiful eyes that you have ever looked into! Before she can reply to your compliment, reach out and stroke her hair. Again smile and tell her how soft and lovely her hair is. While you have your hand on her hair, tell her how sensuous her lips are. At the same moment, curl your outstretched hand around the back of her neck, and pull her face toward yours. Next, give her a tender kiss in the lips. Do not make it last for more than two seconds. Look directly into her eyes, tenderly smile at her, and again kiss her, but this time make it last for about 10 seconds, and do it with a bit more passion.

INITIATING FOREPLAY PART TWO

Reassure her that you care very much about her, and her feelings. This part is extremely crucial! Most of all make DAMN sure that she understands that you RESPECT her! If she falls for that line of SHIT, you are about 60% there! In order for you to receive pleasure from a female, you must first give her pleasure! Tenderly take this female into your arms and gently hug her. While you are hugging her, put your head on her shoulder so your mouth is near the side of her neck. Next start to gently kiss the side of her neck. Move your mouth slightly after each kiss, but continue to work in the same general area for about one full minute. This action will send shivers of excitement through her whole body. At this point you should once again kiss her on the lips. As you kiss her, gently slide your hands to her back and with your fingers spread wide apart, firmly pull her body toward yours, as you slightly massage her and relax her. Rub her shoulders, the back of her neck, and the lower sides of her back. Continue these actions, as you continue to kiss and caress the Bitch. While you are kissing her neck, take a moment to take a deep breath and gently breath into her ear. (DO NOT BLOW INTO IT, JUST BREATH INTO IT!) This will arouse her PASSION and get her FEMALE SEX JUICES flowing!

INITIATING FOREPLAY PART THREE

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INITIATING FOREPLAY PART FOUR

If your selected Bitch is allowing you to fondle her tits through her clothing she will also allow you undress her to the point that you can play with them she is naked from the waist up. To do this, you must first carefully unbutton her blouse or even assist her in removing her sweater. Next you will be faced with removing her bra. Some of these little suckers can be tricky! Most bras are hooked in the rear. The larger the tits, the more hooks you'll find! If you put your finger on one side of the hook and your thumb on the other side then squeeze, the hook can be undone with one careful that you don't tear any of her clothes, because her mother or father might figure out what you have done to their daughter, and that could lead to you receiving a severe beating! Unless the Bitch helps you to totally remove the bra, don't bother trying to get it all the way off. Once the hooks are undone, you can slip your hands beyond her stomach, up to her tits, and fondle to your heart's desire! Next, it is time to start sucking on her nipples! This causes a wonderful sensation in a female's body it actually activates her 'I WANT MORE' button! Naturally, after 5 or 10 minutes of this TIT action, you will be happy to oblige her!

INITIATING FOREPLAY PART FIVE

Do not just suck on her nipples. Move your tongue around it also. Foreplay is a body massage done with your hands, fingers and tongue. The entire intent of this exercise is to arouse the Bitch's sexual excitement... At some point during your sexual attack, you may encounter some resistance. The Bitch may say something like 'PLEASE STOP!' This is a simple ploy used by many females, because they don't want you to think that they are a tramp! Ignore those stupid requests. You might consider putting her at ease saying that you promise not to go any further than you have already gone. (Lie to the Bitch! Tell her that you er h her! Tell her WHATEVER she wants to hear!) Continue to kiss her, lick her, hold her, squeeze her, rub her, suck on her nipples and fondle her... Continue your sensual and sexual body massage... There is a wonderful mechanism built into all females! It is an audible report of the progress of your assault. Listen for her to start breathing HEAVILY! This means that her defenses are weakening and her body is now ready for the next step of your Game Plan! You are now ready to attack her most private area! It is time to direct your efforts and energy to getting your hand into her pants, so you can start rubbing her cunt!

IT'S TIME TO GET DOWN & DIRTY!

Before you can get at her cunt, you must continue to undress the Bitch. This is a CRITICAL moment, because fear and panic may arise when she realizes just how far she has already allowed you to proceed! You must overcome any and all her objections at this point or ALL of your efforts will be lost! You may have to promise the Bitch that you will not go 'ALL THE WAY!' You just want to make her feel GOOD because you CARE about her and you er h her, and be sure to let her know that if she cares about you, she will let you rub her between her legs! When you first begin to rub her pussy, it should be done over her clothing, until the sensation of sexual bliss begins to further enhance her physical joy. Her breathing will become noticeably increased and she will reach the point where she will start to make moaning sounds. You should still be kissing, hugging and rubbing her while you start to loosen her pants. Assuming that the Bitch is breathing very heavily, and is now in FULL heat, you should be able to unbutton or unzip her lower garments so you can make enough room so you can comfortably slide your hand between her legs. First, gently, then firmly rub the hairy area above her cunt!

HOW TO PROPERLY FONDLE HER CUNT

You have now reached another crucial point in your molestation of the Bitch. There are two ways to rub a cunt: The RIGHT way and The WRONG way. If you do it the wrong way, and it is not satisfying to her, or even worse, if you cause her any pain, you can TOTALLY forget about getting laid! The very first step is to get her legs spread far enough apart so that her cunt is accessible to your hand. Curl your hand into a fist with your middle finger sticking out and reach down between her legs and gently slide it upward. Doing this will accomplish several different things. First, it will separate her cunt hairs. If you don't get them separated, it will be painful for the Bitch, so make sure you do it enough times so that your finger slides smoothly from the bottom to the top of her cunt. It will also open her cunt lips, and it will expose her clitoris (clit) so that you can start to rub it. As your finger travels from the bottom of her cunt lips to the top, you will notice two things. First her cunt will be wet. Second at the top of her cunt lips there will be a piece of skin that slightly hangs out or may even seem a little bit swollen. That is her Clit! That is the magic button of her pussy! Take two fingers and slide them back down to her cunt lips and insert them just far enough into her cunt to get them wet. Now slide them back up to her clit and rub it from side to side. Do not rub it up and down! You will know when you are doing it right, because the Bitch will start to groan with extreme PLEASURE! You may also alternate by rubbing in a circular pattern. Keep in mind that the Bitch is getting close to achieving an ORGASM (Getting her rocks off). At this moment, if she hasn't already done so, take her hand and place it on your prick so that she can start to give you mutual pleasure. Be sure to whisper to her 'OH GOD! LOOK AT HOW HOT YOU HAVE MADE ME!' This will enhance her sexual and animal desires even more! Let her know just how WONDERFUL your body is beginning feel. Keep rubbing her Clit, and keep kissing and caressing entire body. The moment as soon as she finishes getting her rocks off, keep hugging and kissing her! Reassure her about how much you love her and what a wonderful experience you enjoyed with her. Do NOT let her feel guilty about it, because the BEST is about to happen! You are now going to try to FUCK this HOT little Bitch!

HEADING FOR HOME PLATE

If you have properly followed ALL of the steps, there is no reason that the Bitch will refuse to let you FUCK her. After all, you serviced her well, and it is now time for her to repay you for what you did for her. If she hasn't already unzipped your fly and pulled your prick out, do not hesitate to do it for her. Take her hand and wrap it around your cock, and show her how to move it up and down so that it feels best for you. Do not let her rub it too much, because you will soon need it for BIGGER and BETTER things. While the Bitch is rubbing your cock, you should be rubbing and squeezing her tits, and again rubbing her pussy. By now, her clit is very sensitive, so you should now insert one finger directly into her cunt and concentrate on an area often referred to as the 'G' spot. It is inside her pussy and since pussies are like snow flakes (no two are alike) the 'G' spot can be located almost anywhere inside. You will need the Bitch to inform you when you have located her inner button.

INSERTING YOUR PRICK INTO HER PUSSY

It is now time for your reward if you followed your game plan properly! By now this Bitch should be BEGGING to get fucked, but if she isn't, do not dismay! It doesn't mean that you won't get laid, it just means that you may have to use a few TRICKS of the trade to get what you want from her. You should now have the Bitch totally undressed from her waist down. This means that her pants, pantihose and undies should be totally off of her body! If she objects to this simply assure her that this Many younger females have an extremely tight pussy, so the SECRET to being able insert your cock into her is LUBRICATION! Most inexperienced females are afraid of having their cunt soaked with things like baby oil, so the next best item that you have is your spit. While you are hugging her with one of your arms, discreetly put as much spit as you can onto the fingers of your other hand, and smear it all over her cunt. Get her pussy as juicy as you can, so that penetration will not be a problem. The next and final step is really easier that you would think. Simply hug the Bitch and pull her as close to you as you can. Make sure that you slide your leg between her legs as you do this. Your body should now be laying directly on top of her. Without any hesitation, you should slide your other leg between her legs, and spread hers far apart! Now is the EXACT time to lunge your cock forward toward her warm and wet hole! You probably will have to direct your cock with your hand until you find the opening of her gash. Just move your cock up and of the way in! By now, the Bitch may object to getting fucked, but there is nothing she can do or say about it. To alleviate her from having a panic attack, simply assure her that you PROMISE not to CUM inside of her. Help her to forget her fears. Ask her about how GOOD her pussy is feeling. Ask the Bitch if you are humping her too hard. Keep the humping rhythm going at a pace that she seems to enjoy. If she is not humping back, simply slide your hand under her ass and pull her toward you each time you thrust forward into her. She will soon understand what she should be doing to mutually please and satisfy both you and her. Remember that a woman's cunt gives her the same amount of PLEASURE that a prick gives a guy, so sensual pleasures are received by both you and the Bitch.

HOW TO PROPERLY FUCK A WOMAN

Fucking a woman properly is a complicated process. It is much more complex than just shoving your cock in and out of her cunt until you blow your load! If you fuck a woman properly, she will BEG for it again and again. You can turn a Bitch into your personal sex slave once you have mastered the art of sexually satisfying a female. The most important asset that you can use when you are fucking a Bitch is 'CONTROL'. Your prick rubbing inside of her cunt will give the female an orgasm as strong and powerful as a male! Believe it! If you stuff your prick into some Bitch's pussy and blow your load in thirty seconds, I can guarantee you that you will never fuck that Bitch again unless she has recently had Electrical shock treatments. The secret to fucking a Bitch properly is simply to keep humping, fondling, and kissing her until she CUMS! Yup! Broads CUM too, just like guys, but they can CUM more than once! If you keep fucking a Bitch, she will CUM three, four or five times! It may take her a couple of minutes between each orgasm, but it WILL happen if you keep fucking her! If the word 'CONTROL' comes into play.

HOW TO PRACTICE CONTROL

Control simply means preventing yourself from CUMMING. It isn't easy. But it can be accomplished by two different methods. The first method is physical. When you start to get the feeling that you are about to CUM, you should FORCE yourself like you are trying to PISS. It isn't easy, but it works. Your prick is HARD so you won't be able to piss, but the bodily function of straining to piss will send a message to your BALLS that you don't to 'SHOOT YOUR WAD' yet. The second method to prevent you from CUMMING is mental. This means that you have to STOP thinking about what you are doing, and think about something that has NOTHING to do with sex. Think about a problem or some situation that you are currently dealing with. Get your mind off of the fact that you are having sex because it will only excite you, and that will make you cum. CONTROL is the 'SEXUAL SECRET' to being THE GUY that every Bitch wants to LAY! Once you have mastered this technique, you will DESIRED by every Bitch who has heard about your STAYING powers, and believe me, Bitches do gossip about shit like this, so your sexual reputation will rapidly grow!

YOU ARE NOW READY TO BLOW YOUR LOAD!

You are now humping and thumping your Bitch. She has CUM several times and it is now time for you to 'BLOW YOUR LOAD', but you must first ask the Bitch if she is currently taking Birth Control pills. If she is, Go for IT!!!

Re:also, more pussy (0, Troll)

nilbud (1155087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059231)

Is this before or after you build her belgian bedroom?

Re:also, more pussy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21059255)

Well, at the very least, that was one of the most entertaining troll posts I've ever read.

It's a start. (5, Insightful)

Mikachu (972457) | more than 6 years ago | (#21058961)

Well, at least it's a start. God knows we need some regulation to stop the wireless cartels from gouging the prices beyond belief. I don't know what the hell they were thinking when they sold our souls to the devil thus far.

Still, why only one third? With something so limited as a spectrum, why the hell would you license our future to corporations?

Don't answer that, unfortunately, I know all too well. Greed is a very strong part of our government.

Re:It's a start. (3, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21058995)

The optimist part of me says they are doing this to give it a trial without going full out incase it causes unforeseen problems. In other words, it's a safer trial run. Can't move too fast, right?

The pessimist part of me says they are doing this because it should jack the price of the two closed parts of the spectrum way above what it would be otherwise. Combine that with the heat over this open part (with big pockets like Google going against incumbent telcos) should be tons of "free" money that they don't have to get from the taxpayers (directly, since we all know what will happen to our bills).

I believe the pessimist part of me is winning about 85% to 15%.

Re:It's a start. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21059229)

I believe the pessimist part of me is winning about 85% to 15%.


 
that's why you got modded up. a bunch of little faggot naysayers around here instead of people who are willing to take their lives into their own hands. it's no wonder it's all pointed back to politics in finding fault too, democrats and republicans love to blame government.

Re:It's a start. (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060063)

With a government as shitty as ours has become over the last 6 years there is a whole lot for which to blame this government. Maybe if "little faggot naysayers" like you spent a little more time thinking and less whining about other people who do think we wouldn't have so many of these problems.

Re:It's a start. (0, Flamebait)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059541)

why the hell would you license our future to corporations?

What's you're alternative? US Government cell-phone service? Free-for-all access, and hope your signal is powerful enough to get through the noise?

Your complaining isn't "Insightful" by any stretch of the imagination.

Re:It's a start. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21061133)

I can't help but think there's something missing.. a detail left out.. somehow, the consumer will get screwed harder... Whenever something out of big business or gov. sounds too good to be true? I remember watching the news about a week ago... They were trumping up how cancer *deaths* were down... (notice the lack of info on if more or less cases of cancer were occurring btw)... I told my family.. "What are they preparing us for? What's the 'gotcha'? What is the other shoe that's going to fall?" The very next day, headline story? Staph "super-bug" emergency..100% fatal....

Why does this feel so familiar???

Re:It's a start. (1)

SoopahMan (706062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21065635)

Who would you license it to instead? How would they keep their antennas running?

Running a network costs money and if we want to do anything with them they've got to make some money. What's evil is sacrificing everything to expand profits. Making a reasonable profit for expanding consumer's options (no cell providers, no cellphone) is essential to the continued expansion of services - and earning an honest wage. Abusing control to make every last dime off the consumer is the problem.

The devil is in the details. (4, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059005)

One: The network owner can bastardize the definition of "tested, safe, and compatible" in any way they please. For example, "tested, safe, and compatible" is the excuse Verizon has for delaying the release of phones for 6-9 months past the same unit's release on other networks. (In reality, it's because they're crippling various features of the phone to make more money - see the manner in which they delayed the Treo 650 for at least six months and disabled Bluetooth DUN capability in the process.) This happens to be one of a number of reasons why I am no longer a Verizon customer.

Two: You can already use any FCC-certified GSM device on any of the GSM networks in the U.S. Just pop in your SIM and go. (Assuming that your handset itself is not locked to a different carrier.) For example, you can buy an unlocked HTC TyTn II directly from the manufacturer, pop in a T-Mobile or AT&T SIM, and be up and running immediately. Want a droolworthy device like the HTC Advantage series? Just pop in your SIM and go.

In the end, unless there's something "unusual" in the details, this doesn't appear to be much different (if at all) from the status quo.

Re:The devil is in the details. (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059025)

One additional thing - "Entrepreneurs could sell handsets with capabilities that are unavailable -- or unavailable at affordable prices -- from current carriers."

Not going to happen. Well, they could pull off "capabilities that are unavailable", but they won't be able to pull off "unavailable at affordable prices from current carriers". It's a known fact that non-subsidized unlocked phones are going to be expensive. The manufacturer and all the vendors in between want to make some profit on the device, while for a locked phone, the carrier will sell it at cost knowing it will make them money 95% of the time, and for a contract subsidized phone, the carrier will take a loss knowing that they are guaranteed income via the contract.

For example:
AT&T Tilt - As low as $299 with contract and a "qualifying data plan" of $40/month beyond whatever voice plan you have
AT&T Tilt - $549 or so without contract and without any rebates, but still SIMlocked to AT&T
HTC TyTn II (The Tilt is just a carrier-branded TT2) - $799 typically for an unlocked unit. Yes it also happens to have one additional feature (low-res front camera), but that feature isn't what is jacking up the price by $250 over the locked no-contract variant, it's the fact that it is unlocked.

Re:The devil is in the details. (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059425)

I own an HTC Trinity P3600. Unlocked of course. I paid full price for it. No big deal, I use it for hours a day so it's saving me more in 2 months than it cost.

If you want a TyTn II, you pay $799 for it. You get the AT&T Tilt for $299. Take that sim card, put it in the TyTn II. Sell the AT&T Tilt for $500 on eBay. Net cost for a TyTn II: $799+$299-$450 = $648. Only $100 more than AT&T locked phone.

Re:The devil is in the details. (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060213)

I don't see why I would ever want to do such a thing, the only thing the TT2 has over the Tilt is the (rather gimmicky) front camera.

Unlocked? - Not much point if you're in a 2-year contract with AT&T (Required to get the $299 Tilt). Anyway, they'll give you an unlock code with not much hassle if you're a customer in good standing (i.e. all bills paid) for 90 days.
HTC ROM instead of AT&T ROM? - HardSPL was released over two weeks ago. My Tilt is running the HTC ROM. :)

CDMA violation? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059769)

Two: You can already use any FCC-certified GSM device on any of the GSM networks in the U.S.
Not if the only networks that can get a reliable signal to where you live or work are CDMA.

Re:CDMA violation? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060245)

Yeah, unfortunately this may still be the case in some areas, although as a former Verizon customer that has switched to AT&T within the past two months, at this point I'm fairly confident in saying that Verizon has lost most of the (previously massive) coverage lead they had five years ago.

When I was in college, Verizon was the only choice if you wanted coverage in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, and upstate NY in general.

Now that I have AT&T, I have not encountered a single situation where my VZW Treo 650 worked and my new AT&T Tilt doesn't, and in fact have encountered many situations where my Tilt gets better coverage than my T650, such as at my aunt's farm in the middle of nowhere.

Re:CDMA violation? (1)

johnkzin (917611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060659)


Maybe that's why the quote specified GSM :-)

(verizon and sprint aren't GSM carriers, they're CDMA carriers)

FCC, I want to have your kids (-1, Offtopic)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059013)

And this is despite im no woman - should make you understand how appreciative i am

This sounds horribly dumb, explain this again? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059067)

Ok, so their idea is "help consumers" by regulating it so everyone who owns a piece of spectrum has to make acquaintance for every device and service?

so if they want IPTV over that spectrum the cell phone company must provide IPTV?

this seems a little counterproductive to me.

In fact it sounds to me like the FCC has reached a new level of regulatory bastardization.. anything which makes things as hard as possible for one, if not both sides of the table is best amirite?

note, I'm all for pro-consumer regulation, but I don't see this as pro consumer at all, just an imposition of costs which will make their way to consumers.
I know that line sounds tired because it's overused by idiots who don't understand when that dynamic actually occurs, but I actually see this in this case.

I could be reading this wrong though, in fact I must be, so someone please provide an interpretation which does not sound like a used car salesman?

Re:This sounds horribly dumb, explain this again? (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059249)

Yea...that's not at all what they're saying. I believe they're just saying that, for example, verizon can't force you to use a verizon brand bluetooth headset with their phones.

Re:This sounds horribly dumb, explain this again? (1)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060277)

Ok, so their idea is "help consumers" by regulating it so everyone who owns a piece of spectrum has to make acquaintance for every device and service

See the OSI model. Idea is that the people who buy it only get to control the network layer and below. Not the application layer...or, more specifically, they will only have *full* control of the network layer and below.

so if they want IPTV over that spectrum the cell phone company must provide IPTV?

this seems a little counterproductive to me.


The provider just provides the network layer and anybody can run anything over it they like...just like the internet. You probably won't be able to do IPTV because it takes to much bandwidth. The regulation wouldn't say anything about that. However, VOIP has a pretty low bandwidth requirement...

You can perhaps see why wireless providers might have a problem with this. Nobody would need to buy minutes anymore. Only the amount of data used would be an issue, and we're all used to unlimited data by now, so we'd expect the same...

It's the end of their gravy train. Unless they can add some loopholes to keep them from actually having to do like the FCC is talking about.

The one that springs to mind is that I don't see anything in there that forces them to actually make use of this bandwidth. So the current batch of gravy-trainers could just buy the bandwidth and sit on it so that there's nobody implementing this and ruining their oligopoly. The other possible loophole I see is red tape. Just make sure that approved devices and technology used in this network are always so slow to be implemented that this network is always the slowest and least reliable compared to all the other kinds.

That second one seems like it could be a real problem. The FCC can always put into the contract, "use it or lose it," but it's a lot harder to enforce something like, "if your network is lame then we're taking it back."

Still doesnt fix anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21059085)

All the telcos will do is create new proprietary codecs that only they have patents to so no one can use the airwaves anyway. otherwise they get DMCA'd.

Re:Still doesnt fix anything (0, Offtopic)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060569)

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1: It's the FCC that smacks you around, not the telcos. Every single electronic device that communicates in a licensed spectrum -- that is, every useful spectrum beyond about 50 feet -- has to go through a battery of FCC tests. If you hack your device so it doesn't perform as intended, the FCC is the one who knocks down your door and throws the book at you.

2: The DMCA is a copyright law. It has nothing at all whatsoever to do with patents.

3: The DMCA itself is no worse than the "a flimsy lock is still a legal lock" law your local state/town/dirt road has.

"Requirements" don't mean shit anymore... (4, Insightful)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059109)

They require the winners to let consumers use any tested, safe and compatible device or application on its network. Entrepreneurs could sell handsets with capabilities that are unavailable -- or unavailable at affordable prices -- from current carriers.

Uh-huh. Sure. And if the winners don't do any such thing, then what?

If the big telcos are the winners then I can pretty much guarantee that the FCC isn't going to do a thing to enforce this. The telcos (like the other huge corporations) own the government, and the government knows who its masters are.

So in the end, "requirements" such as this one are just free publicity and a way to calm the masses down. They mean nothing.

Just look at how well the internet "last-mile" buildout is working out here in the U.S. if you don't believe me.

Re:"Requirements" don't mean shit anymore... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059289)

and the government knows who its masters are.
Those corporate masters have now become the government.

It's getting more difficult to see a bright line between where corporations end and where government begins.

For example, right now, there's exactly ONE US Senator (Chris Dodd) who is trying to prevent AT&T and other Telcos from getting retroactive immunity from any illegal action that may arise from their performing illegal wiretaps for the Bush Administration. And, surprise, the most enthusiastic supporters of that bill also take large sums of money from the telecommunications industry.

Why should we believe that either the corporations or the government have our best interests at heart?

Why are we selling these frequencies anyway? Shouldn't we be leasing them? Don't they belong to us?

Re:"Requirements" don't mean shit anymore... (3, Insightful)

ChiRaven (800537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059683)

As one who spent most of a 30 year career in or near telco regulatory, I would respectfully suggest that you don't know what you're talking about. Even in the days of the Bell System (a giant compared to the babies of today) the companies took regulatory restrictions seriously. And since then it's been the same.

In the late '90's and beyond, for example, they worked like mad to comply with the equal access provisions of TA96, in order to avoid the potential tens of millions of dollars in monthly fines associated with non-compliance. Give any company incentives like that and they'll listen VERY closely indeed. And do as they are ordered.

Somebody suggested recently that AT&T "owned" Senator Reid because people associate with the company had contributed $22,000 to his campaign. If the majority leader of the US Senate can be bought that cheaply then we really ARE in trouble. But I think people who try to build a case for corporate interference in government based on such flimsy "evidence" are just looking for an axe to grind.

And I am not aware of any government mandate regarding last mile buildout. By policy the FCC encourages better access for everyone, but can you cite any Order that requires specific actions? I don't even recall a NPRM along those lines.

Re:"Requirements" don't mean shit anymore... (1)

ezeri (513659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060201)

As someone who has spent the last 12 years watching the Telcos do everything they can to not comply with the intent of telco regulation I would say your full of it. You've sold your soul for money, you know full well that the telco's, including yours, will do everything in there power to make it very difficult for competitors to get a foothold anywhere.

Re:"Requirements" don't mean shit anymore... (1)

ChiRaven (800537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061095)

And as somebody who spent 1998 and 1999 personally helping Ameritech prove that they were complying with the "equal access" provisions of TA96, and saw the tremendous amount of time and effort that went into that enterprise throughout all areas of the company, I'd say you are at least as full of it if not more so.

We worked our butts off to comply with those regulations, and were subject to penalties that could literally run to tens of millions of dollars a month if we did NOT comply. There was no question of ducking. An entire Business Unit (Ameritech Information Industry Services) existed almost exclusively to HELP competitors who were customers of the company (using company-owned facilities to access end user customers) succeed in their efforts in spite of incredibly convoluted regulations.

As an example of the latter, if an RBOC dispatched a technician to a customer's premise to do some work, and the customer was not there, if the customer "belonged" to the RBOC the tech could use the "can be reached" number to contact the customer directly and make arrangements to meet them at a convenient time to get the work done. Here's how it had to work in the same situation if the customer belonged to a competitor: the tech called his or her dispatcher, who then called a designated individual at the Information Industry Services group. That person then called the IIS service rep responsible for dealing with the competitor, who called their opposite number at the competitive company. That person then usually called THEIR customer service department, who then called the customer. Information is then relayed back up the chain in the opposite direction. NOW, the rules of TA96 say that these two transactions (telco customer and CLEC customer) must take place in the same amount of time! See why we were a busy bunch?

I'm not saying that the telcos never sandbagged anything, or that they never lobbied to get better provisions in legislation. Of course they did. But when it came down to it in a regulated environment, the telcos did the work.

Re:"Requirements" don't mean shit anymore... (1)

ezeri (513659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146629)

I never said you didn't do everything to comply with the letter of the law. What I'm saying is that you did everything you could to make life hell for any CLEC. And yes getting corrupt regulators to do your bidding was often a big part of it. But usually feigned incompetence was the preferred method (though actual incompetence is quite common as well).

Re:"Requirements" don't mean shit anymore... (1)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060419)

And I am not aware of any government mandate regarding last mile buildout. By policy the FCC encourages better access for everyone, but can you cite any Order that requires specific actions? I don't even recall a NPRM along those lines.

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2007/pulpit_20070810_002683.html [pbs.org] .

'Nuff said.

The real question is: when did you stop working in the telco regulatory environment? I'd say things have changed significantly with respect to the telcos in the last 5 to 10 years. It's only within that period of time, after all, that the telcos have become effective monopolies on a nationwide scale again.

As for your incredulity at the notion that corporations now own the government, do you really think the general population wants the telcos to be let off the hook with respect to the domestic spying issues? That's just one of many issues where the government's stance is sharply aligned with that of the corporations and against that of the general population. There's a reason the approval rating of the president is some 30% and the approval rating of congress is even lower than that: http://www.gallup.com/poll/101764/Congressional-Job-Approval-Public-Mood-Still-20-Range.aspx [gallup.com] .

Governments which listen to their people don't have approval ratings that low.

You can keep your head in the sand as long as you like. Just don't be surprised to find yourself living in a fascist "paradise" when you pull your head out.

Re:"Requirements" don't mean shit anymore... (1)

ChiRaven (800537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061005)

I, too, lived through that era in telecommunications, and as far as I know there was NEVER any expectation on anyone's part (at least in the industry) that TA96 would involve ubiquitous DS-1 or DS-3 speeds in the last mile. The High Speed services envisioned for that ALWAYS involved competitive offerings between the cable TV companies and the telcos (DSL, whether symmetric or not ... SDSL had its champions among many of us in the business, but we lacked a sustainable business model to support it against the cheaper ADSL).

Video services were a totally different animal. Ameritech (now part of the AT&T behemoth) went through a period of reasonably aggressive expansion of its video service, Ameritech New Media, throughout the '90's. But this resembled conventional cable TV much more than it resembled "video dial tone". That venture was a casualty of the buyout by SBC, although by that time (1999) its expansion was not being carried forward as rapidly as it had been in prior years, I don't believe.

The telcos experimented with the idea of telephones that could carry pictures (the "PicturePhone" service) as far back as the early 1970's. The main reason it died at that time was because of the failure of New York regulators to permit its deployment in Manhattan, the one "must have" market of the day.

I left the business in early 2000. And no, I do NOT agree with the actions of the companies that proactively cooperated with government surveillance programs. I believe they violated a trust that, in our day, was regarded as nearly sacred ... the customer's right of privacy. This was hammered into all of us who dealt in any way with customer records or any aspect of customer service ... one NEVER discloses ANY aspect of ANY customer's service to ANYONE except the customer himself/herself. If there is to be any disclosure, such as to law enforcement, it is done reluctantly, to the minimum degree required by law, under court supervision, after approval by the company legal department, and under the supervision of the company security department. They didn't quite add that all employees involved should wash their hands afterwards before they were fit to associate with regular telephone people again, but that was pretty strongly implied.

I don't have my head in the sand at all. What I'm saying is that the telcos CAN be successfully regulated, and have been relatively recently. I can't speak from direct experience for the FCC since the beginning of the Powell era there, but prior to that time I know for sure that the telcos toed the mark and the regulators regulated.

Can I get some cake with that? (2, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059169)

The problem is going to be that Joe Consumer wants to have his cake and eat it too...he wants his device unlocked, and also wants it subsidized by the carrier. Sure, there might be unlocked devices available that aren't tied to a specific carrier. But they will come at a premium price, something that the average American who expects a $5 top of the line cellphone will not pay.

I want to put cake in a take-home bag (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059811)

The problem is going to be that Joe Consumer wants to have his cake and eat it too...he wants his device unlocked, and also wants it subsidized by the carrier.
I want to have a cake and eat it later. I want a handset that isn't crippled; for example, if the manufacturer says it can run midlets, it should run midlets that I have developed using the Java Micro Edition SDK. I want it on a 1-year subsidy lock, after which point the handset becomes fully unlocked, the price of the plan drops, and I can jump ship to the other network if I want.

Re:I want to put cake in a take-home bag (1)

remmelt (837671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21061587)

Ah, the exact same system we've had in the Netherlands for years now. Recently, the carriers have been offering SIM-only deals as well, something that was only offered by third parties so far. These deals are VERY cheap.

Usually you buy a phone with a plan at a store. This store sells plans for all the carriers, and all phones work with all carriers (yay for GSM!) When they sell you a plan they get subsidised by the carrier so they can offer you the phone for free/cheap.
The idea was that when you buy a plan but no phone, the subsidy goes straight into your bank account, making the plan VERY cheap or even free. This was such a big hit that the carriers are offering these plans themselves now.

You just need to serve out your first year, get your phone unlocked and off you go.

Re:Can I get some cake with that? (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062049)

Well, this seems to work just fine for China. I can be on a 2-year plan and my phone is unlocked and subsidized (on a sliding scale, too- the $10/month plan gives you a smaller subsidy than the $30/month plan). Or, for prepaid, I do the "1.8 plan" where I top up my account with 1.8x the phone's price and get the phone for free and unlocked (because after you've put $500 into a prepaid account you're not really going to let it go to waste by jumping ship, right?).

Re:Can I get some cake with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21075135)

Get back behind our firewall before we bring around the execution vans.

- The Chinese Government

Re:Can I get some cake with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21062511)

No, I don't want it subsidized, there are paper phones that are cheap enough. I just want shit to be unlocked and have my freedom, dammit! Give me my freedom! Let me worry about my money.

Best novel (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21059205)

The Dragon see, with seven mantles red,Wielding two swords and crownèd with two crowns;Great-grandchild of the faithless Turk, with Koran!Behind him hordes of that accursèd breed,
That they may devastate the whole wide earth,As locusts pestilent lay waste the fields!
Had not the Rock of France its onrush curbed,Arabia's flood had surely deluged all!
Osman - infernal dream - was monarch crown'd;The pale moon wedded, she his apple fair;From whom sprang Orkan, Europe's evil guest;And now Byzantium's realm is nothing moreThan the youthful Theodora's dowry -
The star of destiny hangs darkly over her.Now Paleologos bids Murat in,To bury in one grave both Greeks and Serbs.Their own ends sought both Brankovitch and Gerluka -
Meet recompense Mohammed gave to Gerluka!
From out far Asia where they have their nest,
This Devil's brood doth gulp the nations up;
Each day a nation, as night-owl takes bird:
Murat takes Serbia, and Bosnia Bayazed;
Murat Epirus, and Mohammed Greece;
Then the two Selims Africa and Cyprus -
Each takes something till nothing is there left!
Dreadful the deeds that happen day by day;
Too small is this wide world for Hell's great maw,
Which, though feeding ever, never knows repletion!
Yanko doth fight for Vladislaus dead;
But why fight on when fighting gives not aid?
Brave heart Obilitch beats in Skenderbeg,
And yet he pines in pitiless exile. -
But what can I! What helper is me nigh?
We have but few strong arms; our strength is small;
We are as wisps of straw tossed on the wind;
As orphan'd sad, forsaken of the world,
I see my people sleep a deadly sleep,
No parent's hand to wipe away my tears;
God's Heaven is shut above my head,
Giving no answer to my cries and prayers.
This world is now become a hell,
And men but demons in disguise.
Oh, dark, dark Day! oh, outlook ever black!
My fearing folk held ever underfoot!
Sure I have seen thy woe and all thine ill,
Yet 'gainst the worst I now must set my will!
When deadly wound is given in the head,
The quivering frame doth painfully expire.
Plague of mankind! May God make end of thee!
Is half a world so small, to thee so small -
A half-world filled with horror of thy deeds -
That pois'nous stenches from thy demon soul
Thou now must bring to spue upon our rock?
Is it small offering - of Serbia the whole,
From Danube river to the deep blue sea?
Thy seat thou hast, all wickedly to ride;
Thy blood-stained sceptre is thy boast and pride,
From sacred altar thou insultest God,
And where was outrag'd Cross dost rear a Mosque! -
Our very shades and relics would'st defile,
Those relics which to shelter men have brought,
And screen'd amid to eternal hills,
Dear shrines reminding of our heroes' deeds?
These all have been o'erwhelmed in blood,
A hundred times in thine, ten times ten in ours!
The work of that accursed monarch see -
He whom the devil teaches all things bad! -
"This Montenegro, which I cannot tame,
"By means or fair or foul shall own my name:
"With it, on this wise must the method be."
Thus spake the Devil's Sent One; the began
Sweets of false faith to proffer unto man.
The curse of God be on this brood unclean!
What is the aim of Islam's creed 'mongst us?
How will ye 'scape from our ancestors' curse?
However dare 'fore Milosh to appear,
Or how before each other Serbian knight,
Whose names shall last while ever sun hath light? ... While pondering o'er this council for to-day,
Hot horror burns within my soul:
Shall brother brother ever thus war down;
Shall not such strife so bloody and so long
Destroy the very seed within the womb!
O cursèd day! - may God blot out thy light -
That thou didst bring me forth upon the world!
Last year a hundred times I curs'd the hour
Those Turks did fail to make an end of me,
Lest I should falsify my people's hope.

Re:Best novel (1)

bob.appleyard (1030756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060001)

I have to say, quoting Serbian epic poetry is a new one on me.

Google Did It (1)

SoopahMan (706062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059303)

This is old news. The 2 open access requirements are a result of Google demanding the auction enforce 4 open access rules on any winner. The FCC made a political move by meeting Google half-way.

That said, it's good to finally see an article about this that doesn't invoke crazy conspiracy theories and applauds the FCC for taking (some) steps to protect consumers.

Yeah right (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059433)

Entrepreneurs could sell handsets with capabilities that are unavailable -- or unavailable at affordable prices -- from current carriers.

How about, entrepreneurs could sell handsets with capabilities that are submarine patented by current carriers, and be sued out of existence, à la Vonage.

what BS! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21059491)

In the past, when the F.C.C. auctioned spectrum for cellular service, it allowed the winners to determine the equipment and applications that would run on their networks.

Not true. If you have an account with T-Mobile or AT&T/Cingular, they do NOT restrict the handsets you can use. Any unlocked GSM handset that works with 850/1900 MHz will work. You can buy these all over the world.

I've heard of people doing that with Verizon's CDMA service, but never seen it myself.

That created the current status quo, in which a vast majority of American consumers buy a handset from a wireless service provider.

No, the vast majority of American consumers get a handset from their wireless service provider because it is quick & easy, you are guaranteed it will work with the provider, and the provider offers free/discounted handsets if you sign a contract for a year or more.

Re:what BS! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059819)

If you have an account with T-Mobile or AT&T/Cingular, they do NOT restrict the handsets you can use. Any unlocked GSM handset that works with 850/1900 MHz will work. You can buy these all over the world.
Does "all over the world" include Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA? Can I walk into a retail chain and buy an unlocked GSM phone? Or do I have to try my luck with someone I've never seen before on eBay?

Re:what BS! (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21060321)

They tend to be hard to find in B&M stores in the U.S. because there is little to no market for such phones. Average Joe Wireless User wants his $800 phone for $300 and doesn't care that it locks him into a 2-year-contract. Heck, even non-average-joes like myself don't care much about getting locked into a 2-year contract, and are definately fine with it when it saves $500.

You can buy them from reputable online specialists such as Mobileplanet, and in some cases, directly from the manufacturer.

For example, to buy unlocked GSM phones from Motorola - http://www.store.motorola.com/mot/en/US/adirect/motorola [motorola.com] - Click on "Unlocked GSM"

Still pretty weak (1)

tknn (675865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059509)

They should have just given consumers open access to the spectrum so that we could have something better than Wifi.... And why won't they just harmonize our frequencies with European carriers, or at least just pick some national broadcast standards.

has the time come? (1)

sakura the mc (795726) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059869)

to when we can use japanese phones on these side of the pacific?
the innumerable unavailable features and functionality would suddenly be realized here.

Re:has the time come? (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21062089)

First off, Japanese CDMA has its Rx/Tx switched in the 800MHz band, and their EVDO runs on 2100MHz. Second, they use non-standard ESNs (5 letters A-Z followed by 6 numbers).

DoCoMo phones (the roaming-capable ones) are 2100/850 3G, so coverage would be extremely limited in the US, and they are locked down *hard*. Some Softbank phones have been unlocked, but the ones that haven't are the ones that require "phoning home" to Softbank every so often or the phone locks up. Mostly it's the older Vodafone Japan phones that have been unlocked, and yes, those have some of the innumerable unavailable features and functionality.

FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps (2, Informative)

not_hylas( ) (703994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059889)

I'm not so "up" on this particular subject, but I did see this fellow speak to some committee a while back [CSPAN] on The Spectrum Sale, or something related.
In this administation of incompetence, this guy is a real relief to hear speak - about what is the people's, he is the real deal.

Bill Moyers talks with FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps:

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/08242007/watch.html [pbs.org]

MICHAEL J COPPS: Now we're back at square one. It's all up for grabs. And if we are going to do better this time around, it's going to be because of input from folks like you.

MICHAEL COPPS: Well, we're going at it without a policy. We're going at it without a vision. We're going at it without realizing what these things mean to the future of our country. Whether it's broadcast or broadband.The public airwaves are to be used for serving the public interest. Expanding our cultural horizon, covering community news, enabling the democratic dialogue. Increasingly, we have moved away from that vision and they're being used for corporate profitability.

MICHAEL COPPS: Yeah. It appears 112 times in the Telecommunications Act. The term public interest convenience and necessity. So I know darn well Congress was serious about it.

BILL MOYERS: You're talking about the 1934 Act.

MICHAEL COPPS: Right.

You know it's BAD when you get excited about someone speaking "common sense" on CSPAN. The link is worth the time to view.

Where DO they hide these quality people - and who do we have to blow to get them in government?
[don't answer that]

Re:FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps (1)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063443)

***In this administation of incompetence, this guy is a real relief to hear speak - about what is the people's, he is the real deal.***

Yes, Copps appears to be pure of heart and soul. But he is one of the two Democratic (minority) members of the FCC. He is in no way, shape, or form representative of the Bush administration. In fact, he has devoted most of his time on the FCC trying, as best he could, to balk the plans of ex Chairman Michael Powell to give away everything not nailed down and many things that are nailed down to the Telcos and other large corporations.

About time ... (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21059903)

and why not? The days of telecom provider lock-in on subscriber equipment were supposed to have been over when old AT&T was broken up. Comcast doesn't require that I purchase my computer and operating system from them (and if they tried, their customers would scream bloody murder.) I do rent my VoIP gateway from AT&T, true ... but I can use any compatible POTS equipment with it that I want. I fail to see why the cellular companies have reacquired the privilege of screwing their customers this way (other than the same reason that dogs lick their balls.)

Re:About time ... (1)

True Vox (841523) | more than 6 years ago | (#21063603)

Maybe they don't, but they do require you to have windows to get your broadband set up (or else jump through hoops :D).

Too Bad It's Only A Third (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21065749)

Long ago, this used to be the norm. Ma Bell (and AT&T, etc) were not allowed by law to restrict what equipment could be used on "public" telephone lines. They managed to do so anyway, by insisting that if you did not use a phone made by Western Electric (a wholly-owned subsidiary), you had to pay extra fees, have an installer hook it up, and pay for an "adapter" device that supposedly made sure the equipment was compatible with the phone line.

Many people are not aware, but it was this "monopoly leverage" into the phone HARDWARE business that was the major factor behind the breakup of Ma Bell. This was one of my case studies in Business Law at university. The breakup was caused by the fact that they used their power as a semi-public monopoly on phone lines to effectively restrict the market to just their own telephones.

This kind of thing should always be and should always have been the rule of the day. They should not be allowed to use semi-monopoly in one market to force people's purchases in another market. Like, for example, iPhone and AT&T. That is not free market or "competition". It is, in some ways, the opposite.
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