Cellular Carriers Take CPUC To Court
Mobile phone carriers have taken the California Public Utilities commission to court to contest the validity of the Telecommunications Bill of Rights, passed in May 2004. In this instance we mostly agree with the carriers that such state regulations are unwarranted. Mostly (and the carriers don't agree with this!) we would like to see similar legislation enacted on a national level. This would move to protect consumers without the piecemeal, hard to manage, redundant, costly, and inconsistent state-by-state approach. These are national companies operating national networks, and there are very few regional idiosyncrasies that would warrant local regulation. However, "self-regulation" has proven to mean "only when we're afraid of government regulation", meaning it's inadequate. But the government regulation we seek should be light-handed, as we said last time we covered this story, "...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."