Google CEO Visits FCC, Talks Up ‘Android’

Google CEO Eric Schmidt, President of Technology Sergey Brin and other company bosses dropped by the FCC Monday, meeting with Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein and some attorneys. They discussed the newly announced Android open platform for mobile devices and the launch of the Open Handset Alliance by major high-tech companies.

The Open Handset Alliance, announced Monday, says it will improve the mobile wireless experience with an open platform for applications. Some critics have bashed the American wireless industry for its closed, proprietary architecture that keeps consumers from using third-party applications or networks.

“With nearly 3 billion users worldwide, the mobile phone has become the most personal and ubiquitous communications device,” OHA members said in a statement. “However, the lack of a collaborative effort has made it a challenge for developers, wireless operators and handset manufacturers to respond as quickly as possible to the ever-changing needs of savvy mobile consumers. Through Android, developers, wireless operators and handset manufacturers will be better positioned to bring to market innovative new products faster and at a much lower cost.”

At the commission, Schmidt reiterated that Google was likely to bid on spectrum in the FCC’s upcoming 700 MHz auction, according to a filing by Google describing the meeting. Google officials also urged timely approval of rules allowing unlicensed fixed and mobile devices to operate in the unused DTV “white spaces” between channels.

They also discussed “recent reports concerning traffic management practices by certain broadband providers,” a reference to the charge that Comcast had thwarted users’ ability to engage in peer-to-peer file transfer using programs like BitTorrent. Google has been an advocate of net neutrality, the principle that Internet providers should be unable to give preference to or hinder the receipt of particular certain content.