The Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA) is a group whose members include AT&T, Verizon and other wireless telecom companies. In a recent FCC filing, the group claims that the FCC’s new rules on “transparency information” are way too hard on the poor wireless companies.
The new rules by the FCC state that ISP’s must inform customers about network management practices and their impact on customers’ broadband service. While the FCC asserts that the new rules would take an additional 4.5 hours per year for the wireless companies to accomplish, the CTIA claims that the possibility of “million of dollars in fines for noncompliance” makes it “absurd for the Commission to suggest that these providers will spend only 4.5 hours per year to ensure compliance.”
You see, as the CTIA claims, the current transparency rules, adopted in 2010, are:
- Already “extremely burdensome”
- Are of little practical utility
- Are ambiguous and not clearly understandable
Let’s me get this correct. According to the CTIA, the wireless providers being transparent in incredibly basic ways with customers under the new rules is too much of a hassle for them. Really, that is what they are claiming.
The new FCC rules are still so laughingly soft on telecom companies that it blows my mind how someone could read these new rules and think any wireless company is being given too much work to give to customers and the FCC. Again, we are talking about rules that simply make it the law to be straightforward about how they operate the network that customers pay for and use.
Although ISP’s won’t just say this outright, they simply don’t want to follow the new transparency rules. If ISP’s were forced to be completely honest with consumers, they wouldn’t be able to send utterly confusing bills to customers which mix and mash what is the monthly price for the service with what is a company fee or a government fee being added. Gone are the days when Verizon and AT&T add new fees with government sounding names (FDV Administrative Charge, Regulatory Cost Recovery, etc…) that are simply being put on the bill to add more revenue to the wireless providers bottom line (and aren’t in any way associated with the government).
It will likely shock many consumers when they see just how absurd so many of the activation, installation, router, modem rental and other fees are in reference to the overall bill.
- Suddenly, AT&T likely won’t be able to charge U-Verse customers twice for the same so-called “fee”.
- Suddenly, Comcast won’t be able to hide the fact that they are throttling customers for “network management” purposes while later admitting it had nothing to do with their network and everything to do with additional revenue.
- Suddenly, Sprint and Verizon won’t be able to hide in small print on page 2,305 of the 10,404 word customer agreement that their wireless packages do in fact throttle customers using too much data.
Maybe the wireless providers would continue to charge these absurd fees. At least consumers would know exactly how they are getting screwed.