July 7, 2011
Washington, DC – The National Consumers League (NCL) today announced its endorsement Representative Anna Eshoo’s Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act. NCL applauded the bill’s pro-consumer goal of increasing transparency in the market for “4G” mobile broadband service.
“Consumers are relying more than ever – and in some cases exclusively – on their mobile broadband devices to get online,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “Confusing coverage maps, data caps, and pricing plans full of ‘mouseprint,’ too often leave the average consumer at the mercy of wireless carriers’ marketing hype. Representative Eshoo’s bill would do much to provide some sorely-needed clarity for shoppers in this market.”
The wireless broadband market is awash in technical jargon like LTE, WiMAX and HSPA+, all claiming to provide “4G” service. Representative Eshoo’s bill would help consumers make sense of these new technologies by requiring carriers to provide consumers with important information, including guaranteed minimum data speeds, network reliability, coverage area maps and pricing. This information would be made available on bills and at the point of sale to help consumers more effectively comparison shop and evaluate the level of service they are receiving. The bill would also require the Federal Communications Commission to review the speed and prices of the top 4G wireless data providers to help consumers better compare services.
“Ubiquitous, always-on mobile broadband access is becoming indispensable to millions of consumers,” said John Breyault, NCL Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud. “It’s high time that consumers get some measure of certainty that what’s being advertised to them is what they will get when they sign up for service. Representative Eshoo’s bill would go a long way towards giving consumers that peace of mind.”
NCL’s letter of support to Representative Eshoo is available by clicking here.
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.