Writing to acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps, media advocacy concern Free Press urged the FCC to confirm that its 2005 policy statement on net neutrality applies to wireless carriers that offer broadband Internet access service. Delivered last Friday, the Free Press letter bases its recommendations on recent press coverage surrounding the release of Skype software for the Apple iPhone and on related reports of wireless carriers “violating consumers’ right to run applications, use services, or attach devices of their choice” on handsets that use the carriers’ broadband networks. Although iPhone customers who download the Skype software can place calls wirelessly via Wi-Fi hotspots, Free Press complained that AT&T (the exclusive U.S. provider of wireless network services for the iPhone) may “be playing a role in restricting consumers’ access to an application that competes with the carrier’s own voice service.” According to Free Press, this is shown by comments from an AT&T official who was quoted last week as saying: “we absolutely expect our vendors not to facilitate the services of our competitors.” Adding that “applications to allow tethering of the Google Android phone are unavailable on Google’s Android Marketplace for all T-Mobile customers,” Free Press told Copps: “these two cases suggest that the future of wireless innovation will be determined first and foremost not by developers of the devices, but by wireless carriers through restrictive language used to control consumers’ use of applications and services on their networks.” In addition to seeking clarification of the FCC’s net neutrality policy so as to “resolve any alleged ambiguity raised by parties in earlier proceedings,” Free Press also urged the agency to “request more information on the extent of the wireless providers’ role in and their justifications for” policies that restrict the freedom of consumers to use applications of their choosing on wireless broadband networks. Applauding Free Press’s “call to action,” Skype Regulatory Affairs Director Christopher Libertelli proclaimed, “consumers should be entitled to use the products they pay for as they see fit, as long as they do not harm the network.”