FCC: Wireless Industry Lacks Competition
According to a report by the FCC, the US wireless industry is lacking in “effective competition,” which may can in turn be harmful for consumers. The report comes days after AT&T has announced that it will follow in rival Verizon Wireless’ footsteps in raising its early termination fee (ETF) to $325 for smartphones if users cancel their contracts early. According to the report, “The lack of the key phrase could set the stage for U.S. regulators to impose policies and regulations to increase competition for consumers who are demanding more data plans on their mobile handsets to surf the Internet and watch videos.” Other areas for concern besides increasing ETFs would be exclusivity, the most famous of which would include AT&T’s exclusivity in the US for offering Apple’s iPhone.
Though the report finds that there may be little competition, action was not cited. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski says that the regulatory agency may look into some actions to spur competition, but yet another option would be the lack of action as well and let the market take its course.