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Wireless To FCC: Don't Tread On Us

Wireless advocacy group Mobile Future (AT&T, T-Mobile, among others) told the
FCC Thursday that it needs to take the "unique challenges" of wireless
broadband in mind when it considers a legal framework for broadband
Internet access service. 

If it does,
says the group, it will recognize that reclassification would ignore
that uniqueness and "thwart innovation and investment in the wireless

Among the
distinctions between wired and wireless broadband, they say, are the
spectrum constraints of wireless and the need for sophisticated traffic
management that hinges on a number of moving pieces,
including proximity to the cell site, topography, cell site capacity,
weather and the device accessing the network.

The group
made those arguments in a filing Thursday in the FCC's inquiry into
reclassifying broadband access as a Title II telecommunications
service subject to some common carrier regs.

commission is pondering how and whether to apply access regs to wireless
in addition to wired broadband given what it has acknowledged are the
"technological, structural, consumer usage, and historical
differences between mobile wireless and wireline/cable networks."

The wireless
industry has gained a recent convert to differential treatment for
wireless and wired broadband--Google-- which teamed with Verizon to
support applying only a transparency condition--informing
customers of how it is managing its networks--to wireless broadband.