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Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has introduced a bill to ensure that your cellphone number belongs to you, rather than your greedy carrier.

It's one of several measures in his "cellphone rights bill", that he unveiled earlier this week.

Right now, the plan is to ensure number portability between networks by November. But Schumer, probably wisely, is concerned that FCC chairman might backslide on this commitment. Powell didn't exactly distinguish himself last week, dissenting from the decision to allow more competition and issuing a hand-wringing plea to leave the poor telecoms pigopolists alone.

The carriers predictably reacted negatively. They worry that it could force them to compete on price, quality and innovation.

Schumer introduced the legislation at the national conference of Winged Watchdogs this week. The Bill also contains other consumer protection measures to avoid price gouging and rate plan trickery.

Telecomms companies are never enlightened at the best of times, but in the United States operate on a level of thuggery barely above the level of nightclub bouncers.

Now I don't know much about the good Senator, but I'm learning fast. His site contrived to serve me up a PopUp Window... in Opera. ®

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