Gotta love the AT&T ads that promise ‘up to’ blazing data speeds, that they rarely, if ever, reach. Ever wondered ‘what’s up with THAT?’ You are not alone. A Congresswoman from California has the same thoughts.
Democratic Congresswoman Anna Eshoo has proposed a bill that would require carriers be honest in their disclosures regarding 4G terminology. The Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act would require carriers to publish details about their minimum 4G speeds, their coverage, and the reliability of the network. Eshoo hopes to set a framework for “what 4G speed really is” and make sure customers know what they were getting when signing a contract.
CTIA, a industry group representing the carriers themselves, objects to the bill, saying that it adds a “new layer of regulation to a new and exciting set of services.” The group also cites variability of network performance on many factors beyond carrier control.
Bill advocates argue that the bill wouldn’t be necessary if it weren’t for a rush to market services as 4G on questionable grounds. Recently AT&T won a battle of nerves with the 3GPP Consortium over their improper use of the 4G label to describe their network, when instead they deliver only HSPA+ in several markets. AT&T argued that they offer 4G-like speeds even with a non-LTE topology – deceptively using the 4G + LTE branding with impunity.
Consumer advocates reason that by requiring carriers to clearly post guaranteed minimum data rates, caps, and pricing – consumers can make comparisons more easily and accurately.
A prospect that obviously concerns carriers used to digital bait-and-switch sales tactics.