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Google Attacks Verizon Over Secret FCC Lobbying

Back in July, Google made waves (and headlines) with the wireless spectrum bid/bluff. The FCC would eventually agree to most of their open access demands.

And now Google’s back in the thick of wireless spectrum battles/headlines. Last week in a Google Public Policy Blog post, they assert that Verizon has been secretly lobbying the FCC for control of the wireless airwaves to be released early next year. They claim that this lobbying is the reason why FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is seeking to repeal the open access concessions they made in July. Prior to the blog post, Google also filed an ex parte presentation to the FCC with the same allegations.

Verizon denies that they have lobbied the FCC. However, they have sued the FCC, as we mentioned last month, in an effort to overturn the same open-access bans. Secret lobbying or an open lawsuit could have prompted the chairman’s reaction.

Secretly lobbying the FCC, especially when you obviously have a business interest in the matter, is unethical and illegal. It’s possible that Google has caught Verizon in a major gaffe—but it’s also possible that Google is simply perturbed that Verizon is attempting to circumvent the regulations they were so careful to construct. If it’s the latter, then it’s Google committing the major gaffe.