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Eshoo Introduces 4G Consumer Info Bill

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill that would require wireless carriers to give consumers more information on what they mean by 4G wireless service.

The Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act would require point-of-sale and billing materials to include information on "guaranteed minimum data speed, network reliability, coverage area maps, pricing, technology used to provide 4G service, and network conditions that can impact the speed of applications and services used on the network."

"Consumers deserve to know exactly what they're getting for their money when they sign-up for a 4G data plan," said Eshoo, ranking member of the House Communications Subcommittee.

The bill would also require the FCC to "evaluate" the speed and price of the top 10 wireless carriers to provide consumers side-by-side comparisons.

The bill got shout-outs from Media Access Project, Consumers Union and Public Knowledge, among others.

Not surprisingly, wireless carriers were not happy with the proposed new government requirements.

"We are concerned that the bill proposes to add a new layer of regulation to a new and exciting set of services, while ignoring the fact that wireless is an inherently complex and dynamic environment in which network speeds can vary depending on a wide variety of factors," said Jot Carpenter, CTIA-The Wireless Association VP, government affairs. "Congress should resist calls to impose new regulations and instead focus on the real issue, which is making sure that America's wireless carriers have sufficient spectrum to lead the world in the race to deploy 4G services."