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Carriers prep anti-bill shock steps to avoid FCC rulemaking

updated 10:45 am EDT, Mon October 17, 2011

CTIA agrees to warn users of data, voice limits

The US carriers behind the CTIA telecom group on Monday agreed to make concessions to the FCC on curbing "bill shock." Guidelines at the cellphone giants will see them warn subscribers when they either get close to or reach caps on data, text messages, and voice. Subscribers will also be warned about roaming costs when they go abroad.

Terms will also see carriers publicize the tools to track use. FCC officials have made clear that the deal doesn't eliminate the possibility of regulation and that carriers could face more official policies if they're found to either ignore the guidelines or trigger new concerns.

While portrayed by the CTIA as proof the government and carriers can work together, the association is mostly heading off a proposed rule that would have enforced the policies and possibly instituted tougher conditions. Historically, CTIA members have opposed any regulation that might force them to curb profit even if it acts in the public interest, such as implemented roaming caps that lower the maximum customers can involuntarily pay outside of their home countries.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. Tanker10a

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2003

    -5

    Big Deal!

    I would have been more impressed if the FCC would stop imposing their antiquated FCC Charges on consumer's phone bill...

  1. exca1ibur

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 2000

    +2

    comment title

    ... and 2 year contracts where they can take away features (unlimited) and you can't opt-out without an early termination fee. (Verizon)
    ... 2 year contracts in general (if your service was worth a $hit, people wouldn't jump carriers)
    ... eligibility for phones (If you are going to lock me to a contract every time I get a new phone, WTF difference does it make when I get a new phone each time
    ... not unlocking a phone out of contract (AT&T)
    ... charging me for tethering when I already pay for a damn data plan (double dippin, is not cool)

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: comment title

    ... and 2 year contracts where they can take away features (unlimited) and you can't opt-out without an early termination fee. (Verizon)

    They can't take away features, and they don't (unless they say so UP-FRONT in your contract). This is why there are people with really antiquated telephone plans that you can't buy anymore. Or why ATT still allows their unlimited data plan holders to stay unlimited, though they don't offer that any more.

    Oh, and you signed a contract saying you would get their service for 2 years. What part of 'contract' do you not understand? If you don't want to sign a contract, don't. There is no one forcing you into a 2-year deal. Heck, you're lucky you get an ETF at all. They could require you to pay your full price for the whole 2 years. Oh, I know, you also think it's unfair that you can't get out of your house purchase 6 months in because you decided you can get a better place elsewhere.

    ... 2 year contracts in general (if your service was worth a $hit, people wouldn't jump carriers)

    Go month to month. No one's stopping you!

    ... eligibility for phones (If you are going to lock me to a contract every time I get a new phone, WTF difference does it make when I get a new phone each time

    You're only locked into a phone because you signed a freakin' contract, which reduces the price for the phone. Pay full price for the phone, don't be locked in. Geesh!

    ... not unlocking a phone out of contract (AT&T)
    Blame Apple on that, not ATT. Apple could easily just require ATT to do it. Or give you the capability yourself. But, no, they don't care. And they don't because they know people will blame ATT, not Apple.

    ... charging me for tethering when I already pay for a damn data plan (double dippin, is not cool)

    You are paying for data ON YOUR PHONE. You are not paying for just data. It's two freakin' different things. Maybe you didn't notice that they also charge twice as much if you want to use a wireless card for your computer then they do for your phone. Why is that? Oh, I know, because you'll end up using more on the computer, so they want to charge a proportional rate.

    I know, maybe you'd be happier if they just charged everyone $60 for data, and then allow free tethering! There, then there'd be no double-dipping.

    But it all comes down to the same thing. I want a really cheap phone with no contract, no restrictions, and allow me to do whatever I want for one low price.

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