Citing the refusal of the DC Circuit to expedite its petition against open platform requirements adopted by the FCC for the 700 MHz auction, Verizon Wireless told the court on Tuesday that it would drop its appeal. Resembling the FCC’s 1968 Carterfone rules that permitted customers of the legacy AT&T landline network to use phone equipment of their choice as long as the equipment caused no harm to the AT&T network, the open platform rules adopted by the agency last July apply similar conditions to the nationwide 700 MHz C-block, which encompasses 22 MHz of spectrum. Viewing the rule as a threat to the current wireless industry business model that “locks” specific devices and applications to a particular carrier’s network, Verizon challenged the FCC’s decision in court as arbitrary and capricious, arguing that the FCC’s mandate was “unsupported by substantial evidence and otherwise contrary to law.” Verizon had also asked the DC Circuit to expedite its review in hopes of having the open platform rule turned back before the start of the 700 MHz auction in January, but that motion was denied earlier this month. Although AT&T, Frontline Wireless and other parties have asked the FCC to reconsider or clarify aspects of the 700 MHz order that pertain to the shared commercial-public safety network in Block D and auction reserve prices, Verizon had been the only party to challenge the open platform condition in court. Observers therefore say that the court’s refusal to expedite Verizon’s appeal and the withdrawal of that appeal by Verizon remove what could have been a major obstacle to the start of the 700 MHz auction on January 24.