The FCC is taking up proposed “bill shock” rules at its next open meeting despite claims by the wireless industry that such regulations are unnecessary.
The agency estimates that 30 million Americans have experienced bill shock, a sudden increase in their monthly bill without a corresponding change in their service plan.
Most consumers were not notified by their carriers when they were about to exceed their allowed minutes, text messages or data downloads, the FCC reported last spring.
The FCC’s proposed bill shock rules would require carriers to provide usage alerts and other information that would help consumers avoid unexpected charges on their bills. CTIA claims such measures are unnecessary because carriers already provide customers with tools to monitor their accounts.
The FCC’s next open meeting will also address a proposal to use recently reserved universal service funds to pay for private investment in mobile broadband services in underserved areas. Expanding broadband Internet services to unserved and underserved rural areas has been a top priority of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan.
The next open meeting is slated to take place on Oct. 14 and can be viewed live at www.fcc.gov/live.