New Medium, Old Story: Telecom Greed

Senator John Kerry’s post to the SaveTheInternet.com blog (6/16/09) looks at the fact that “nine of the most popular 10 phones are locked in a deal with one of these big wireless carriers,” and how this corporatization limits the new medium:

Here’s the issue I think we need to wrestle with: Wireless service providers are largely deciding what phone you can use. We don’t see that happening in similar markets.

Your broadband provider doesn’t decide what kind of computer you can connect to at the end of your DSL or cable wire. And 40 years ago, the FCC ruled in the historic Carterfone decision that AT&T couldn’t pick and choose which phones can and can’t connect to its network.

The pertinent question Kerry comes to is: “Is the status quo the right model for maximizing innovation, competition and consumer choice? Or do we need a change?”