FCC forces ATT and Verizon to share what they built with their money with those that can't afford to do the same. REDISTRIBUTION AGAIN
FCC requires national data roaming for all
By David Goldman, staff writerApril 7, 2011: 3:55 PM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Federal Communications Commission adopted an order on Thursday aimed at ensuring that your smartphone has access to the mobile Internet anywhere that it's available.
The ruling requires all wireless carriers to let customers of competing carriers roam on their mobile data networks.
- ork we adopt today ... will ensure that rural and urban consumers have the ability they expect to use their mobile phones throughout the nation for voice calls or data," Julius Genachowski, FCC Commissioner, said in his statement of support for the motion.
The FCC's mandate would force companies to arrive at "commercially reasonable terms" for their roaming agreements, but would not itself set fees.
The order is aimed at the biggest providers -- AT&T (T, Fortune 500) and Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) -- and will benefit the smallest, rural carriers. AT&T and Verizon have amassed the largest data networks through incredible capital expenditure and acquisitions. The small, regional carriers need to provide access to 3G and 4G data networks to compete, but they can't afford to build up their own national networks.