The New York phone giant is suing the Federal Communications Commission over its requirement that the winner of the 700 megahertz spectrum license keep the network open to any device, according to
, a Washington, D.C.-based industry publication.
The open access camp, which includes Google, wants to see the development of a broad array of wireless devices and services, instead of the highly controlled cellular system dominated by telcos like
and Verizon Wireless, co-owned by Verizon and
Verizon would face a formidable challenge to its wireless network if other companies gained ownership of this prime airwave real estate. Verizon says the open access rule is unsupported by the law.
The FCC has ordered analog UHF TV broadcasters to switch to digital signals and vacate the 700 MHz airwaves so it could sell the spectrum to wireless broadband service providers. The frequency is considered particularly appealing since it allows signals to travel though walls. The auction was expected to begin in January.
Google said it would bid $4.6 billion on the spectrum if the FCC required the winner to allow any device to work on the radio waves. Verizon had recently been in agreement with those terms, but as of Monday, has decided to fight the rule.