“The Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules today at its monthly public meeting that will require wireless service providers, such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless, to negotiate wireless data roaming deals with competitors,” Marguerite Reardon reports for CNET.
“As expected, the FCC voted along party lines, with the three Democrats including Chairman Julius Genachowski voting in favor of the measure,” Reardon reports. “Meanwhile, Republicans Robert McDowell and Meredith Atwell-Baker voted against the new rules, stating they don’t believe the FCC has the authority or a reason to adopt such rules.”
Reardon reports, “The new rules will require wireless operators that own their infrastructure and spectrum to ‘offer data roaming arrangements to other such providers on commercially reasonable terms and conditions, subject to certain limitations.’
Commissioner Michael Copps, who voted in favor of the new rules, said that he is ‘pleased that data roaming’s time has arrived.’ He said that the rules advance ‘two key goals of his and the commission’s in protecting wireless consumers and promoting competition,'” Reardon reports. “The Republican commissioners agreed that data roaming among wireless operators is a good thing for the industry, but they disagreed that the FCC needs rules that will force wireless operators to negotiate with competitors and offer ‘reasonable rates.'”
Reardon reports, “McDowell said that the commission does not have the authority to adopt such rules, since he believes the rules would impose Title II “common carrier” regulation onto a service that the FCC has specifically deemed in the past to not be considered something regulated under Title II. ‘I also agree with my colleagues that many benefits flow from the widespread availability of data roaming,’ he said. ‘Nonetheless, the commission simply does not have the legal authority to adopt the regulatory regime mandated by this order.'”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]