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View Full Version : GAO Recommends FCC Monitor Cellular Providers

Joe Johaneman
08-30-2010, 03:30 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.electronista.com/articles/10/08/26/gao.calls.for.more.data.on.us.cell.competition/' target='_blank'>http://www.electronista.com/article...ll.competition/</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"The US General Accounting Office on Thursday sent out a report (PDF) warning about mixed results for competition in the cellular industry. It said competition had decayed significantly as moves to consolidate the industry in the hands of just a few carriers, such as Verizon's buyout of Alltel, was making it "more difficult" for smaller carriers to offer a real challenge. About two thirds of cellphone users are AT&amp;T or Verizon customers where Sprint, T-Mobile and smaller networks make up the rest."</em></p><p>I'm not going to get into the "more regulation" vs. "market competition" argument here. &nbsp;I'm just glad someone is paying attention to the cell phone industry. &nbsp;According to the GAO, cell plans have dropped 50% when you factor in inflation, and coverage has improved over the same time period. &nbsp;However, they want the FCC to monitor the industry closely to watch trends. &nbsp;Personally, I don't see a problem with monitoring the cell industry at all, and it'll be interesting to see what data comes out of that monitoring if the FCC chooses to follow the GAO's recommendations. &nbsp;I'd especially like to see them monitoring things like data plan and text messaging costs over the next few years.</p>