The right to attach

Hooking up by Tim Wu presents an idea on how to increase the competition around wireless (cellular) devices.

The firms already control what phones or devices reach Americans; 95% of cell phones are sold by the wireless carriers themselves. They strictly control phone design, blocking features that might threaten their revenue, like timers that keep track of how many minutes you’ve used each month.

The right to attach is a simple concept, and it has worked powerfully in other markets. For example, in the wired telephone world Carterfone rules are what made it possible to market answering machines, fax machines and the modems that sparked the Internet revolution.

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