More on the iPhone Hearings: Free the iPhone!

by Devanshu Mehta

The so-called “iPhone Hearings”:http://www.scienceaddiction.com/2007/07/12/the-iphone-hearings/ yesterday were entertaining and it seems they may only be the first shot fired on the issue of separating devices from the network.

The folks at “FreePress.net”:http://www.freepress.net have set up “Free the iPhone”:http://www.freetheiphone.com as a ‘save the internet’ (net neutrality) and ‘save net radio’ type movement. The idea is to strike while the iPhone publicity peaks and the current 700MHz auction planned by the FCC rolls around. Also, since the FCC, Google and some “members of Congress”:http://www.scienceaddiction.com/2007/07/12/the-iphone-hearings/ seem to be showing interest in the idea of separating the Network from the Devices (“Delaminate the bastards”:http://www.hyperorg.com/misc/delamination.html says Weinberger) this seems to be the appropriate time to be pushing for separating the layers.

Free the iPhone.

Also, the folks at “Public Knowledge”:http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/1085 have a set of videos from the _iPhone Hearings_ including Rep. Ed Markey comparing the iPhone lock-in with Hotel California (_check out, but they can never leave_), Professor Tim Wu pointing out the tech gap between US and Europe in the wireless space, the Verizon General Counsel claiming that there is no consumer demand for delamination, and finally “Jason Devitt”:http://www.brash.com/ on the issues for small innovators in the business.

A few more reads:
* Om Malik on “the meaning of competition in the US”:http://gigaom.com/2007/07/12/competition-has-a-different-meaning-in-the-us/
* Susan Crawford on “balancing public interest, security and business pressure”:http://scrawford.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2007/7/13/3091435.html
* Google’s Public Policy blog on “open access to the wireless network”:http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2007/07/promise-of-open-platforms-in-upcoming.html
* “Jason Devitt”:http://skydeck.com/blog/thisisbroken/congressional-hearing-on-wireless-innovation-and-consumer-protection/ on the implications of the new spectrum auction

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