Sixteen regional carriers and trade associations have lashed out at a letter co-authored by Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg that claimed data roaming would harm investment in wireless technologies.
In the June letter, Seidenberg and Caterpillar CEO James Owens said the FCC’s proposed data roaming regulations were an example of laws that would “limit innovation or investment incentives” in the wireless industry.
The blunt rebuttal says Seidenberg’s statement “is untrue… the near-unanimous view of the wireless industry is that an automatic data roaming obligation not only is in the public interest, but is essential to preserving and promoting competition, innovation and investment in wireless data services and wireless networks.”
Those signing the rebuttal included the Rural Cellular Association, MetroPCS and Leap Wireless International.
AT&T and Verizon Wireless are two of the most vocal opponents to the FCC’s proposed data roaming regulation, which would require carriers to allow data users to roam over each other’s networks without being hit with massive charges. Such agreements already cover voice services.
Seidenberg and Owen’s June letter was sent to Peter Orszag, then director of the Office of Management and Budget, in response to Orszag’s request to Business Roundtable and The Business Council for examples of pending legislation and regulations that have a dampening effect on economic growth and job creation.
The letter took aim at several of the FCC’s regulatory ambitions, including net neutrality regulations and Title II reclassification.
Yesterday, a group of 13 carriers and three trade associations sent a joint response to Jeffrey Zients, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget. Seidenberg, Owens and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski were also sent copies of the letter.
The letter addresses only the issue of data roaming and does not touch on the other claims made by Seidenberg and Owens in their June statement. Seidenberg is chairman of Business Roundtable and Owens is chairman of The Business Council.
Filed Under: Industry regulations