at Stake and Why Are These Actions Important?
Files A Complaint Over The Industry's Role on the FCC Consumer Advisory
controls the FCC? It certainly isn't you, the customer. Teletruth
today filed a complaint about the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee
(CAC) because after serving on it for two years, it is clear that
industry interests, and not customers, are in charge . I repeat,
the industry is in charge of the Committee that is dedicated to
consumers having a voice at the FCC.
For example, you still can't read your phone bill right? Wasn't
the FCC supposed to make phone bills readable with "Truth-in-Billing"?
Or when the phone, cable or media companies all want to merge,
why did the FCC pursue a course to let them get larger and decrease
me tell you a public secret ---- In 2003-2004, about 1/3 of
the entire FCC Consumer Advisory Committee are the lawyers for
these companies and associations AT&T, BellSouth, Cingular,
(BellSouth & SBC) Verizon (Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, GTE), MCI,
Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, National
Association of Broadcasters, Telecommunications Industry Association,
and the National Cable Telecommunications Association.
almost all of the large phone companies, the wireless companies,
the cable companies and broadcasters on a committee supposed to
dedicated to make "recommendations to the FCC regarding consumer
issues within the jurisdiction of the Commission and to facilitate
the participation of consumers."
MARCH 8th, 2005 A new Committee was created (Word
file) --- Same Problems:
for Public Technology, Daniel Phythyon: is Senior Vice President,
Law and Policy at the United States Telecom Association (USTA).
Association of Broadcasters,Sprint Corporation, Time Warner,
T-Mobile, Verizon, Nextel Communications, Inc., Cellular Telecommunications
and Internet Association, and Consumer Electronics Association,
OUTCOME: NOTHING HAPPENS:
because of all these industry players, everything is deadlocked
or blocked -- the phone companies would never examine their own
a recent report from the General Accounting Office (GAO) found
issues with the FCC's Advisory Committees. The name of the report
says it all:
after serving for 2 years, it's also clear that some of the 'consumer'
groups, such as Alliance for Public Technology, and others are
also funded by the phone companies. In fact, there's a network
of companies created to fool the regulators, but funded by segments
of the industry.--- pure skunkworks.
many on the Committee are legitimate advocates for phone, broadband,
Internet, disabilities or media issues, the big companies can
block anything good that needs to be done for you, your company,
your community -- whether it's broadband or media concentration,
Internet regulations or phone services -- It's time to get this
cleaned up now.
Washington Post got it right:
"Next time, Powell might consider this radical idea:
Appoint 35 ordinary consumers with no hidden agendas and no axes
Powell's upcoming departure, it's more important than ever that
you get involved in the future of the FCC's CONSUMER policies.
that Phone Bills are Unreadable and Have Mistakes.
the point clear, can you spot the mistakes on this SBC California
phone bill, this Verizon New Jersey phone bill, or the truth-in-billing
errors on this Verizon New York bill?
Items of Interest
Here are some other documents
there are lots of groups, such as Alliance for Public Technology,
(APT), that claim to represent you --- and are on the Consumer Advisory
Committee, but are paid for by Verizon and SBC.
BE ONE OF THE DISCONNECTED
Points!: What We Filed?
have asked the FCC and Congress, under the Federal Advisory Committee
Act, to investigate:
- Who controls the FCC?
- Why is 1/3 of the
Consumer Committee based on the phone, cable and media companies?
They're not consumers!
- Why are some groups,
such as APT, funded by the phone companies, allowed on the committee?
- Phone bills are UNREADABLE
and the companies don't want it fixed.
- Why aren't there more
non-partisan grass roots groups ---Hispanics, blacks, seniors,
and wireless groups?
an Investigation Immediately!
Congress Needs to
Investigate this Problem, NOW. The phone and media companies
want new laws to make it even easier for them to give you less
choice by putting competitors out of business and overcharging
you through unreadable bills.
- Oversight and
the Senate Commerce Committee
the Commissioners --- Tell them you will not accept the phone
and media companies control.
Powell is Leaving in a few months. Make the other Commissioners
care about the Public Interest.
Contact the Press: Write
and tell them to start investigating who controls the FCC and the
They're always talking
about holding regulators accountable. Isn't time someone exposed
the truth about who controls the FCC' agenda?
Bills Are Readable and Accurate Says Lobbyists for the Phone and
The FCC Consumer Advisory Committee had a panel to discuss "Truth-in-Billing"
issues, meaning are phone bills readable and accurate. The lawyers
for the USTA, a lobbying association for the Bell companies and
CTIA, the lobbying group for the wireless companies (also controlled
by the Bell companies) spoke. They both agreed that phone bills
are readable and that there are not many billing problems.
was bumped from presenting a major report on phone bills, which
found that over 50% of phone bills have mistakes.
Tuttle, Associate Counsel: USTA does believe that the guidelines
are working well. Our members, which are primarily wire line
local exchange carriers, are not experiencing many billing problems.
But when isolated complaints do arise, they are handled.
Altschul, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Cellular
Telecom and Internet Association (CTIA) "...we
believe that the guidelines and competition have ensured that
consumers have the information they need, both to make informed
choices and to understand the elements of their bill.Specifically,
as the commission had hoped in the 1999 truth in billing order,
the wireless carriers have adopted and implemented a voluntary
consumer code that goes beyond the truth in billing rules adopted
by the commission.