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FCC To Investigate Wholesale Pricing Strategy Of US Telcos

The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has vowed to launch a probe into the prices telecom operators charge each other for the network capability required to transfer voice calls as well as exchanging data online.

The FCC chairperson, Julius Genachowski, has made it clear that the Commission is looking forward to scrutinise the fee structure telecom companies have in place for dispensing essential network capacities, and that some new regulatory measures are there in the offing.

In a letter sent to Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, Genachowski noted that the FCC will issue public notice within upcoming 30 days looking for comments on the "appropriate analytical framework" for evaluating the network pricing structure.

In a related news story, Genachowski further alerted of a “looming spectrum crisis” if the government doesn’t come up with increased bandwidth for mobile devices.

In his keynote speech at the CTIA Wireless Convention, the FCC chair said that while the government is tripling the amount of spectrum aimed at commercial purposes, industry analysts forecast a whopping 30-times increase in wireless traffic, in the wake of soaring use of bandwidth-charging services, like videos and online music streaming.

Citing the same, he said in a statement, “I believe that the biggest threat to the future of mobile in America is the looming spectrum crisis”.

Our Comments

It will be interesting to see whether, as one could expect, this type of investigation is going to spill over to the UK and elsewhere. The Obama administration seems to be significantly more aggressive when it comes to tackling possible anti competitive behaviour.

Related Links

FCC To Examine Prices Phone Cos Pay For Network Connections (opens in new tab)

(The Wall Street Journal)

FCC chairman warns of 'looming spectrum crisis' (opens in new tab)

(Associated Press)

CTIA: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski poses framework for regulating wireless industry (opens in new tab)

(Los Angeles Times)

FCC Chair Addresses Looming Spectrum Crisis (opens in new tab)

(PC World)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.