Earlier today, the Government Accountability Office released a report, “Enhanced Data Collection Could Help FCC Better Monitor Competition in the Wireless Industry.” A copy of the report is here.
The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:
“Today’s GAO report adds more evidence to the argument that any rules governing an open Internet should apply to the wireless sector as well as to the wired. The report paints a disturbing picture of an industry in which the top four carriers control 90 percent of the market, and industry consolidation is strangling smaller, regional carriers.
“The report shows the large companies continue to pile up advantages in gaining more spectrum, in exclusive deals for handsets and in locking in consumers with high termination fees. At the same time, there is the equally disturbing trend that the investments larger carriers are making in their networks are a smaller proportion of their service revenue than the expenses of smaller carriers. High special access rates imposed by the wireline affiliates of the larger carriers also hamper competition.
“These trends do not bode well for consumers, despite any benefits of the moment. The report shows the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should act soon on a wide range of pending pro-consumer items, ranging from handset exclusivity to text messaging, in addition to making certain any policy on an open Internet includes wireless access as well.”
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