“You’ve got to hand it to AT&T. They don’t like Julius Genachowski’s plan to apply network neutrality rules to wireless networks, and they aren’t shy about saying so,” Saul Hansell reports for The New York Times.

“Not so for Verizon and Sprint, which declined to answer a direct question about whether they think wireless systems should be covered by net neutrality rules,” Hansell reports.

“In its statement, AT&T said it supported applying the existing four neutrality principles to wired networks, and is open to adding a fifth principle that would prevent companies from discriminating against certain services and applications on wired networks. But the company drew the line at wireless networks,” Hansell reports. “Wireless service doesn’t need regulation, AT&T argued, as it is a very competitive market. The company appears to be most concerned about rules that might force it to eliminate certain restrictions it has that limit how much data wireless customers can use. Wireless networks ‘are facing incredible bandwidth strains,’ the company wrote, and ‘require continued private investment at very high levels, and pro-active network management.'”

Hansell reports, “The company’s harshest words focused on the F.C.C.’s auction of wireless spectrum last year. One block, purchased by Verizon Wireless, specifically required the winner to open the frequencies to any device and application. AT&T bought other blocks of spectrum that had no such explicit conditions. In its statement today, the company noted ‘that unencumbered spectrum was sold for many billions more’ than the spectrum Verizon bought.”

For the F.C.C. to now place such requirements on that spectrum so soon after the auction creates the impression of a ‘bait and switch,’ and could raise questions about the fairness and integrity of the auction process itself. – AT&T

Hansell reports, “The C.T.I.A., the wireless trade group, also raised significant reservations about the new rules. It said: “The commission is considering changing the rules after the auction — impacting companies’ confidence in the auction process — just as carriers are facing a brewing spectrum crisis.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Steve P.” for the heads up.]