Good Move, VZW

A fellow nerd and friend sent me an IM this morning ecstatic over the news of Verizon embracing Google's Android.

When Android's SDK hit the Web I rushed to check out the features that could one day become my "GPhone." I was very excited.

Then I realized Verizon wasn't involved. I was preparing to switch carriers. Hope soon arrived.

Today, hope was confirmed.

Yes, I still have a Palm Treo 700wx on Verizon's network. I want to throw it to the ground most days. It freezes, misses calls and lacks a lot of phone features like quality alarms, custom text message ringtones and text messages beyond 160 characters. Of the five handsets I've owned, this one is the only one I've wanted to toss within six months of owning it. (A Windows Mobile update would be nice, VZW.)

Is an open network good? Sure it is. Open source communities thrive on the Internet, why wouldn't an open network? Users know what users want, and capable users should have the ability to make applications that suit their needs. We've been doing this with computers - it's how I have an alarm clock that utilizes iTunes. (Why? Because my Treo isn't reliable enough to wake me up!)

Having done some Googling, I stumbled across a February 2006 spiel by a major communications executive. In this particular instance, he was arguing against Google's ability to ride the Internet pipes for free:

"The network builders are spending a fortune constructing and maintaining the networks that Google intends to ride on with nothing but cheap servers," [he] told a conference marking the 10th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. "It is enjoying a free lunch that should, by any rational account, be the lunch of the facilities providers."

Those words were spoken by John Thorne, a Verizon Communications senior vice president and deputy general counsel. Mind you, Verizon Communications and Verizon Wireless are two entirely separate entities - but his words are still quite ironic.

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