CPUC Cellular "Bill Of Rights" Approved
We've been covering the topic of the California Public Utilities Commission's proposed Cellular Bill of Rights since last March, but as of today, you can remove the word "proposed" from that reference. The CPUC has passed the proposed bill with a 3-2 vote. The bill succeeded where two other proposals had failed: one that was far more regulatory, and one that was far more favorable to the wireless carriers. The CTIA reacted as expected, again arguing that "self-regulation" of the industry would be far more efficient. As we noted last year, "self-regulation" seems to be a misnomer if it only occurs under pressure from government regulators. My belief is that the cellular industry is persecuted a little out of proportion. It's really not doing badly for a young, 10 year-old industry. We get a lot of mobile phone coverage in a huge country, and decent prices. Yet increased clarity in real coverage maps and straightforward pricing options would be a welcome change for consumers. To achieve this, we are in favor of a national "Bill of Rights", which would benefit all the citizens of the nation, but also help the carriers by offering some consistency. Doing this piecemeal, state-by-state is a wasted of our tax money. If the FCC weren't so closely tied to the CTIA, we might have seen something like this from that commission years ago.