Feeds

US wireless not competitive enough - FCC

Too much power in too few hands?

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

The FCC has published its annual report on the competitiveness of the US wireless industry, and says there's not enough of it - despite industry howls to the contrary.

The report covers part of 2008 and most of 2009, and leaves industry body the CTIA "disappointed and confused as to why [the FCC has] chosen not to make a finding of ‘effective competition’ for that year". The CTIA goes on to express its concerns about the threatened "policy levers" that might be used to increase competition in a business that the industry believes is already fiercely competitive.

Not everyone involved thinks more legislation is needed. Republican members of the FCC argued against more rules, though in his comment Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps suggests: "We are going to need an extra dose of vigilance going forward and use whatever policy levers we have available to ensure good outcomes for American consumers."

The problem, of course, is that the numbers can be applied to give any result one wishes. Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell points out that more than three quarters of Americans can now choose between three or more wireless providers, and almost 90 per cent can decide between two, but Democrat Mignon Clyburn uses the same figures to show that 2.4 million Americans are stuck with only one wireless option, while 900,000 have no wireless provider at all.

In his summary (pdf) Julius Genachowski (FCC Chair) tries to argue that declaring whether the industry is competitive or not is too simplistic, rather stacks of statistics should be obtained that can be referenced over time to establish trends.

The report is in its 14th year, and so far that trend is for more devices providing more services to a greater proportion of the population. So while there may be concerns about excessive consolidation of wireless businesses and too much concentration in radio spectrum holdings, for the moment everything is progressing acceptably. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.