The FCC Should Let Market Work Out Wireless Data Roaming

by Mike Wendy on November 12, 2010

The following statement may be attributed to Mike Wendy, Director of Media Freedom.org:

Alexandria, VA, November 12, 2010 – Reports have it that the FCC will soon mandate data roaming among all competing wireless carriers.  If true, this idea – based ostensibly on fostering competition – will have the opposite effect.

The data market is unregulated.  The wireless market, too, sees only “light” regulation.  Because of this, wireless Internet services have exploded.  Removing core aspects of this competitive dynamic – which have thus far yielded tremendous facilities-based competition across an array of alternatives – will lead to less innovation by promoting “free-riding.”

Spectrum bottlenecks should be alleviated.  States, too, should help with easier tower citing and other processes.   States might also reduce the heavy taxes they place on carriers, which get passed along to consumers.

But poaching innovation is not a solution.  It is a false “competitive” alternative that ultimately leads to poorer coverage and options, and this in turn will hurt American productivity and jobs.  The FCC should let the market work this out.

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