Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rep. Eschoo Proposes 4G Consumer Disclosure Bill

U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, introduced a "Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act" that would require mobile operators to disclose accurate information about the performance of their 4G services.

"Consumers deserve to know exactly what they're getting for their money when they sign-up for a 4G data plan," said Rep. Eshoo. "The wireless industry has invested billions to improve service coverage, reliability and data speeds, and consumers demand for 4G is expected to explode. But consumers need to know the truth about the speeds they're actually getting. My legislation is simple – it will establish guidelines for understanding what 4G speed really is, and ensure that consumers have all the information they need to make an informed decision."

Specifically, the legislation would provide consumers with the following information at the point of sale and in all billing materials:

  • Guaranteed minimum data speed

  • Network reliability

  • Coverage area maps

  • Pricing

  • Technology used to provide 4G service

  • Network conditions that can impact the speed of applications and services used on the network.

In response, CTIA-The Wireless Association issued the following statement:

"We are concerned that the bill proposes to add a new layer of regulation to a new and exciting set of services, while ignoring the fact that wireless is an inherently complex and dynamic environment in which network speeds can vary depending on a wide variety of factors. Congress should resist calls to impose new regulations and instead focus on the real issue, which is making sure that America's wireless carriers have sufficient spectrum to lead the world in the race to deploy 4G services."http://eshoo.house.gov/http://www.ctia.org

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