T-Mobile Fights FTC Cramming Charges, Petitions FCC
T-Mobile's busy July has included defending itself against FTC allegations of bill cramming, and public interest support of its petition to the FCC.T-Mobile and Capitol Hill have recently interacted in two notable ways. First, in a proactive fashion more typical of the so-called "Un-carrier," T-Mobile called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to spell out exactly what qualifies as "commercially reasonable"—the FCC's language in its Data Roaming Order—regarding data roaming agreements. And second, this time on the defensive, it responded to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint accusing it of making bogus charges on customers' bills.
T-Mobile Petitions the FCCT-Mobile petitioned the FCC in May, calling the roaming market "dysfunctional" and asking the FCC to "arm providers with the tools they need to obtain the data roaming agreements necessary to enable them to compete." AT&T and Verizon, which own the majority of the relevant spectrum, aren't offering reasonable terms, which forces T-Mobile to throttle customers' data use, it argued. "Data roaming traffic carried by the substantial majority of roaming partners other than AT&T is generally offered at rates that do not require throttling or capping," it wrote.
On July 10, the common-interest groups Public Knowledge, the Open Technology Institute at New America Foundation, the Benton Foundation and Common Cause filed comments with the FCC in support of T-Mobile's petition.