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Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the Federal Communications Commission's "Data Roaming Order," which requires that wireless carriers offer data (wireless Internet access) roaming services to other carriers on "commercially reasonable terms." This allows wireless users to use all the functions of their phones even in places where their carriers might not have coverage. The court's decision is linked here.
The following statement can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:
"The DC Circuit's decision rightly upholds the FCC's Data Roaming order, which extends long-standing voice roaming rules to data services. The FCC's order protects consumers by allowing smaller wireless carriers to offer nationwide service, and ensures that customers of smaller providers can travel around the country without incurring high bills or losing service. As Public Knowledge argued in its amicus brief supporting the Order, the updated roaming rules 'allow smaller carriers to offer services that can compete with larger carriers. Millions of American consumers who might have lacked access to data services will benefit from this rule, which ultimately creates more choices for consumers, brings down prices, and brings broadband access within reach of slow-adopting communities.'
"The court firmly rejected Verizon's many baseless challenges to the FCC's authority to update its roaming rules. Interestingly, many of the legal arguments Verizon made in its challenge to this Order it is also making in its challenge to the Commission's Open Internet Order. This decision may indicate that courts are casting a more skeptical eye on telecommunications companies' endless challenges to the FCC's ability to carry out its job."
Public Knowledge's amicus brief in this case is linked here.