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Rep. Eshoo Reintroducing Wireless Speed Disclosure Bill GOP, Carriers Will Consider DOA

Eshoo

Eshoo

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Communications Subcommittee, will shortly reintroduce legislation that will require wireless companies to disclose more information about the anticipated speeds of their 4G wireless networks.

Eshoo announced her legislative intentions Tuesday at the Broadband Breakfast Club, telling attendees it was important for consumers to know what they are getting before signing a two-year contract.

The anticipated legislation is expected to mirror Eshoo’s 2011 bill — the Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act (HR 2281), which never made it out of the Republican-dominated House committee.

Eshoo said consumers need clear and concise explanations of data limits, caps, or network management policies that can turn a fast 4G connection into a very slow or expensive one.

Many of the former bill’s supporters echoed carriers use “4G” as a marketing tool which can lead to consumer confusion. Networks ranging from Clearwire’s WiMAX service to T-Mobile’s HSPA+ to Verizon Wireless’ LTE network have all been dubbed “4G,” despite offering widely varying maximum speeds.

Consumers have also faced bill shock when they do not understand their monthly data limits.

Like the last bill, Eshoo’s newest effort is expected to face stiff opposition from wireless carriers and House Republicans, but may raise the temperature on data caps at the Federal Communications Commission, which has faced increasing pressure to become more involved in the issue of usage limits and consumption pricing.

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