Christopher Libertelli, Skype’s senior director of government and regulatory affairs for North America, has written a strongly-worded letter complaining that the major US wireless carriers are all talk when it comes to "open" networks.
Writing to the Federal Ccommunications Commission (FCC) chairman, Kevin Martin, he said that if the Commission wanted to live up to its stated goal of making open networks more accessible, it would affirm that this policy covered wireless networks.
Libertelli said that last week at the CTIA Wireless IT and Entertainment conference in San Francisco, the major US carriers paid lip service to the idea of open networks, but strongly cautioned that too much choice would lead to chaos and damage the viability of their business model.
"The attitude of the wireless carriers was perhaps best summed up in Sprint Nextel Corp,” he wrote.
He quoted Sprint CEO Dan Hesse’s recent comment: ‘The big Internet can be daunting… There can be too much choice.’
Libertelli continued: “This stands in stark contrast to the Commission’s wise policies designed to promote as much consumer choice as possible."
He said Skype was mindful of the challenges wireless carriers faced in moving to an open network. But he also said it was not enough to simply talk about open networks.
"Consumer choice, competition and free markets, not carriers acting to block competition, should win the day in wireless–now, not later," he said.
"If the Commission believed that the transition to more open networks was going to proceed quickly, statements out of CTIA’s convention suggest just the opposite.”