Telcos, Consumer Groups Battle Over Proposed Telecom Law Renewal - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Infrastructure

Telcos, Consumer Groups Battle Over Proposed Telecom Law Renewal

Legislation to renew the Telecommunications Act of 1996 draws praise from telcos--but Consumers Union warns, "Hold onto your wallets."

Legislation to renew the Telecommunications Act of 1996 introduced earlier this week by U. S. Senator John Ensign (R-Nevada) drew quick responses from both sides of the issue with telecom industry firms generally supporting the legislation and consumer groups generally opposing it.

“The Ensign bill outlines a market-oriented focus that deserves thorough and thoughtful discussion,” said Roger Cochetti of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) in a statement. “We are particularly encouraged by its call to keep Internet applications and information services, such as VoIP, free from regulation…

“While the ’96 Act did much to update the nation’s telecommunications regulatory structure, it is timely and appropriate that we re-visit that landmark legislation.” Cochetti is group director of U.S. Public Policy for the CompTIA.

On the other side of the issue was Consumer Union’s senior policy analyst Jeannine Kenney who stated: “Consumers better hold on to their wallets if this bill becomes law. They can look forward to soaring cable and phone bills and even fewer choices for broadband as dominant cable and phone companies tighten their stranglehold on the limited competition in these markets.”

Ensign’s 72-page bill was hailed by the former Regional Bell Operating Companies, which were heartened by wording that would free them from having to obtain approval from local and regional agencies to offer television service. “The Ensign bill,” said a Verizon Communications spokesman, “puts consumers first by enabling people to choose from the expanding array of choices made possible by changes in technology and in the marketplace.”

CU’s Kenney said the legislation would prevent local and state agencies from preventing price gouging. The bill, she added, would enable providers to force consumers to purchase a cost package of services, some of which they don’t need or want.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
News
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll