Set Cell Phones Free

The FCC’s upcoming ruling on wireless bandwidth has raised the issues about cell phones and why that bandwidth is so tightly controlled by the giant cell phone companies (like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.) The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg explains very clearly why this is VERY WRONG in his column, “Free My Phone” and I believe it is worthy of your consideration. At the very least, it’s fascinating that no less than a senior writer for the Wall Street Journal compares these telco giants to “Soviet ministries.”

Mossberg says that the approach to controlling hardware and software that these companies have taken (or have been allowed to take) “severely limits consumer choice, stifles innovation, crushes entrepreneurship, and has made the U.S. the laughingstock of the mobile-technology world…”

Bottom line, our cellular bandwidth subscription should not tie us to specific hardware and software any more than our internet provider subscription should tie us to a particular kind of computer, operating system or sub-set of applications. Of course, we should pay for bandwidth. It costs money to build networks. But there’s no reason that that should give the providers the right to tie our hands (within reason) regarding how we choose to use that bandwidth (with any kind of device we choose and any kind of software we choose) just like with the web.

Why does the American government keep letting the big companies get away with this stuff?? (rhetorical question)

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