FCC to consider range of wireless carrier concerns
Agency to discuss billing practices, exclusive handheld deals at meeting next week
Computerworld - The Federal Communications Commission will decide next Thursday whether to launch three formal "inquiries" into wireless industry practices.
In interviews today, FCC officials who asked not to be named said there are least six matters before the body involving the wireless industry. The agenda for the monthly meeting includes discussions on the status of competition in the wireless market, how the commission can support innovation and how to provide consumers with better upfront information regarding fees and the total cost of wireless services.
At the prompting of Skype, the commission also plans to discuss voice-over-IP services over wireless networks. In addition, the commission expects to have answers from Apple and Google officials to its questions on why Google Voice does not function on Apple's iPhone. The responses to the commission's questions were due by the end of business today.
The FCC officials said the attention that the agency is giving to the wireless industry is not an official investigation, but is rather a set of related inquiries. Picking up on a theme from the Obama administration, recently installed FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has urged a "fact-based and data-driven" approach to wireless industry inquiries.
In confirmation hearings, Genachowski told Congress that the FCC will look into exclusive handheld deals, such as AT&T's sale of the Apple iPhone, and whether those arrangements hurt competition or limit choice. Exclusive deals became a subject of recent congressional hearings as well.
Free Press and other consumer groups have filed comments to the FCC about the overall cost of wireless services, mainly to consumers and small businesses. The groups argue that consumers and small businesses do not have the same power to bargain with wireless carriers as large businesses and organizations do.
Some reports have said that one of the FCC's potential inquiries will look at fees tacked onto wireless bills. The FCC officials, however, said their wireless agenda is really much broader and is designed to address whether customers are informed upfront of all the costs for their wireless services, including fees not stated on bills.
Specifically, the meeting agenda says the FCC is seeking comments on "whether there are opportunities to protect and empower American consumers by ensuring sufficient access to relevant information about communications services."
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts