FCC clarifies position on roaming
The FCC this week released an order that requires commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) operators to provide automatic roaming services. The order extends to push-to-talk and text messaging, but does not extend to broadband data services that are classified as information services.
Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein both expressed regret that the commission failed to include broadband data in the order, opting instead to open a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in order to seek further comment on the matter.
“I remain concerned that we have not finished the puzzle by extending our automatic roaming requirement to all data services,” Adelstein said in a statement. “With the stroke of a pen, the commission could have taken the specific step of enhancing the experience of consumers who are interested in having access to high-speed wireless services wherever they travel. As we become an increasingly mobile and broadband society, we are missing a real opportunity to improve broadband availability for American consumers through an automatic data-roaming obligation.