My Letter to the FCC About AT&T-Mobile: Time to Submit YoursAuthor: Johnny5k | Filed under: Big Business, Big Media, Communications, Internet Service, Video-TV/Cable/Online, Wireless Service
I just saw this article on PCmag.com and it nudged me to send my own letter to the FCC. Here’s how mine went:
Wireless communication is incredibly important to the wellbeing of our economy. That not only includes voice, but text and internet access as well. Already, consumers are being gouged by minimum fees for ‘voice’ plans – regardless of whether they use any voice ‘minutes,’ astronomically high fees for texting, when it costs the carriers virtually nothing to support, and now data caps and overage charges on wireless data. While we all are left with the burden of paying these higher fees, the wireless corporations are posting record profits, all the while buying out their competitors – competitors, mind you, that have LOWER PRICES than they do! We’re already down to a 4 player game, and Sprint & T-Mobile may be the only reason that AT&T and Verizon’s plans aren’t even more expensive. Take even one of them out of the game, such as allowing AT&T to buy T-Mobile, and it’s down to a 3 player game, and the 3rd player will probably have to drop out soon as the other 2 pump up their muscles even more. It will be a duopoly, and AT&T and Verizon will be free to keep hiking up prices on texts and wireless internet access. In an economy as hard hit as ours, if every consumer is forced to pay an extra $5, $10 or $20 a month (which we already are – just look at text prices) to be able to effectively communicate, that’s another $5, $10 or $20 we can’t spend on groceries or gas or even taxes to keep our government functioning. And instead, it just goes into an already huge money bin of just a few powerful CEOs.
Their next plan, if left unchecked, will be to charge for ‘services’ or ‘channels’ much like cable TV – where it will cost you more if you want to access Facebook or YouTube or even your email. These are arbitrarily placed pay-walls meant only to increase profits even more – and if there are only 2 major carriers, and they both impose the same kind of system, consumers will have no choice but to pay up.
Please don’t let the AT&T / T-Mobile merger go though; and if you do, regulate the hell out of it. Make them show how much it costs them to send a text through, or what it costs them when a customer goes over one of their arbitrarily set ‘limits’ – and compare it to what they charge consumers for those features. I think you’ll see they’ve already inflated their markup well over the reasonable amount that would be possible if they were competing in a truly competitive marketplace. Communication should be a right – so why are we being charged like it’s a luxury only meant for the rich? If we don’t do something soon to get these corporation in check, we may find that in the future, it will be only for the wealthy.