Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

The Return Of California's Telco Bill Of Rights

from the self-regulation-ain't-working-apparently dept

A year and a half ago, California passed a "Cellular Bill of Rights" to help protect consumers against some of the more questionable practices of mobile operators. The operators, of course, were not pleased. They claimed that self-regulation would keep the operators honest -- but years of hidden fees, unwillingness to fix dead spots (even when at home) and various systems to lock up customers in long term contracts even when service can't be provided suggests that self-regulation has failed in many areas. Still, a year ago, California tore up the cellular bill of rights, after the carriers challenged it. However, a year has gone by and apparently the "self-regulation" still isn't doing much, because we've now got a new California Telco Bill of Rights being proposed. It would create a special unit of about thirty people, whose only job would be to investigate consumer complaints about fraudulent practices by telcos. Not only that, but since this would cover all telcos (not just mobile operators), the proposed bill would also enforce network neutrality while requiring telcos to offer DSL without phone service (naked DSL). While this sounds like a very reasonable proposal, it's still a bit troublesome that this is only being set on a state level. The risk is that telcos suddenly have to abide by 50 different sets of regulations, one from every state. It would make a lot more sense to set something like this up at the national level to keep the telco oligopoly under control -- but our current FCC seems to simply roll over when it comes to telcos.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 29 Dec 2005 @ 9:26am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Well, I don't think it's likely to be 50 per state. =)

    Heh. Whoops, that was worded awkwardly. :) Thanks for pointing it out. I tried to clear it up.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.