FCC Clarifies Data Roaming Negotiation Standards

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Today, the Federal Communications Commission clarified its legal standard for the negotiation of data roaming agreements by acting on a petition from T-Mobile. Although not a policy change, the new guidance from the FCC should help small carriers ensure they can negotiate data roaming agreements on commercially reasonable terms.

The following statement can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:

"The FCC's roaming policies are an important guarantor of competition. Customers of any wireless carrier ought to be able to travel around the country without fear of losing service or being hit with unexpected, sky-high bills. Today, data roaming is just as important as voice roaming. When the FCC adopted its data roaming rules in 2011, it used a new legal standard that left many questions unanswered. By clarifying some of these issues, today's action will help ensure that customers of even smaller or regional carriers can use their smartphones freely as they travel."

The FCC's action can be viewed here

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