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FCC Controlled by Telecom and Media Interests -- And It's Time to Get it Back. TAKE ACTION NOW!


What's at Stake and Why Are These Actions Important?

Teletruth Files A Complaint Over The Industry's Role on the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee.

Who 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 choices?

Let 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.

That's 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."

UPDATE: MARCH 8th, 2005 A new Committee was created (Word file) --- Same Problems:

  • Alliance for Public Technology, Daniel Phythyon: is Senior Vice President, Law and Policy at the United States Telecom Association (“USTA”).
  • National Association of Broadcasters,Sprint Corporation, Time Warner, T-Mobile, Verizon, Nextel Communications, Inc., Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, and Consumer Electronics Association,


However, because of all these industry players, everything is deadlocked or blocked -- the phone companies would never examine their own phone bills.

Even 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:

And 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.

While 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.

The Washington Post got it right:
"Next time, Powell might consider this radical idea: Appoint 35 ordinary consumers with no hidden agendas and no axes to grind,"

With Powell's upcoming departure, it's more important than ever that you get involved in the future of the FCC's CONSUMER policies.

Proof that Phone Bills are Unreadable and Have Mistakes.

To make 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?

Other Items of Interest

Here are some other documents of interest.


In Washington, 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. Read more

Take Action:

Talking Points!: What We Filed?

We 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?
Start an Investigation Immediately!
Write Congress!

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.

Contact:House Commerce Committee

Two Subcommittees that can investigate the FCC.

  • Oversight and Investigations
  • Telecommunications & Internet

Contact the Senate Commerce Committee

Write The FCC!

Write the Commissioners --- Tell them you will not accept the phone and media companies control.

NOTE: Powell is Leaving in a few months. Make the other Commissioners care about the Public Interest.

Contact the Press!

Contact the Press: Write and tell them to start investigating who controls the FCC and the Country's agenda.

They're always talking about holding regulators accountable. Isn't time someone exposed the truth about who controls the FCC' agenda?

Phone Bills Are Readable and Accurate Says Lobbyists for the Phone and Wireless Companies:

In 2004, 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.

Teletruth was bumped from presenting a major report on phone bills, which found that over 50% of phone bills have mistakes.

  • Robin 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.
  • Michael 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.

Click here for some of the testimony. Notice that we did not include any consumer statements - there are no consumers invited to speak about the problems with phone bills.

Continue the Fight