Skype pushes FCC to open cell networks

By Justin Mann on February 22, 2007, 8:46 PM
We mostly take it for granted that we can buy any telephone or (at least in the past) fax machine/modem we want. It was only a few decades ago that behemoth AT&T had absolute authority in what you could plug into a phone line, and it was something that ended up being fought in the courts. Of course, AT&T lost, and freedom amongst phone equipment manufacturers was born. Such a blessing doesn't exist on cellular networks, which were largely built up by private companies much in the same way the original phone system was.

Skype wants to change that, and is pushing the FCC to open cellular networks up for non-sanctioned hardware and software. While the benefits of this are clear, allowing someone to use any phone on any network they choose, Skype's motives are anything but philanthropy. They have developed their VoIP software a step further, and want to be able to open it up to users of cellphones. Skype on a cell? That's their aim, since currently many cell service providers block or prevent via contract use of Skype software.

It's an interesting concept and could lead to an interesting battle. While cellular networks are relatively new, they have evolved and propagated much faster than the original phone system. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to see the FCC intervene, at least in the U.S.




User Comments: 1

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nathanskywalker said:
I really hope this goes through. Skype is cheap/free, and those are two very positive words to a soon-to-be college student. IDK exactly what how this is going to all go down, but I'm all for it. Personally I was going to get a skype phone, and might still, but normal cell's are so much more developed than skype technology; if this goes through, we'll see.
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