Court Decision Upholding Mobile Data Roaming Rule a Victory for Rural Consumers
Background: A federal court in Washington today rejected Verizon Wireless’ challenge of a 2011 FCC rule requiring national wireless carriers to negotiate commercially reasonable terms and conditions for mobile data roaming with competitors. NTCA joined other carriers on a brief in the case in support of the commission, citing the key need for roaming agreements in delivering mobile broadband services to consumers who live, work or travel in rural areas.
Arlington, Va. (December 4, 2012) – The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) today issued the following statement from Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield:
“Today’s court decision represents a huge victory for consumers of mobile broadband who live, work or travel in rural America. The court rightly recognized that the FCC has sufficient authority to impose data roaming requirements on carriers and in doing so helped to ensure that smartphone users can obtain better access to broadband on the go in a more competitive market. It’s clear there is widespread support both in the law and among a diverse group of wireless operators and consumers for reasonable regulation of data roaming. While more must be done if data roaming is truly to serve its intended purpose, I’m encouraged that the court recognized that this challenge to the commission’s authority lacked merit.”
The National Telecommunications Cooperative Association is the premier association representing more than 580 locally owned and controlled telecommunications cooperatives and commercial companies throughout rural and small-town America. NTCA provides its members with legislative, regulatory and industry representation; meetings; publications and educational programs; and an array of employee benefit programs. Visit us at www.ntca.org.