or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › US senators propose bill to require 'accurate 4G information for consumers'
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

US senators propose bill to require 'accurate 4G information for consumers'

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Three Democratic members of the U.S. Senate introduced on Thursday the "Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act," which aims to clear up confusion surrounding 4G high-speed wireless data networks and control what carriers can and must say in their advertisements.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., announced the act on Thursday, which they said would "require wireless providers to disclose complete and accurate information about their 4G wireless data service in their sales and advertising practices." It mirrors legislation passed in the House of Representatives this past June.

The proposed act would require companies to disclose specific details in their marketing and advertising. The bill was created because there is no standard definition for 4G wireless broadband Internet.

The bill would require that the following details be included at the point of sale and also in all customers' billing materials:
Guaranteed minimum data speed
Network reliability
Coverage area maps
Pricing
Technology used to provide 4G service
Network conditions that can impact the speed of applications and services used on the network
In addition, the bill would require that the Federal Communications Commission evaluate the speed and price of 4G wireless data service provided by the top ten U.S. wireless carriers. Customers could then have access to a side-by-side comparison of providers in their services area.

The proposed legislation comes after two of the four largest carriers in the U.S., AT&T and T-Mobile, have begun advertising their networks as "4G," even though they do not run on "true" 4G technology like long-term evolution, or LTE.

Last week, evidence surfaced that AT&T wants to go a step farther, and is attempting to convince Apple to add "4G" indicator to the iPhone 4S status bar, because the iPhone 4S is capable of HSDPA speeds in some areas. However, AT&T's HSDPA network is different -- and slower -- than its smaller 4G LTE network the carrier is currently expanding.



Blumenthal said he believes the bill, if passed, can help bring "fairness and certainty to consumers."

"As consumers become more reliant on Internet capabilities from their mobile devices, it is essential that they have the most accurate and useful information about the products and plans they are purchasing," he said. "Whether they are using a tablet or a smartphone, wireless users deserve an honest description by companies of product capabilities."

AT&T is hoping to expand its network, including HSDPA+ and LTE coverage, with a proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. But that deal has been met with skepticism by members of a U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

Blumenthal previously partnered with Franken in June to present a bill to enforce mobile privacy laws on companies like Apple and Google. The legislation was spurred in part by the location data controversy that involved Apple's iOS devices. The glitch that stored location data on GPS-enabled iOS devices was fixed with a software update.

"While wireless data makes it easier for people all over Minnesota to do their jobs and to access music, movies, and books from virtually anywhere, it's important that consumers know what they'll be paying for when they sign a contract," Franken said. "Wireless providers need to make sure their customers can count on the speed, reliability, and the price they were promised when they signed up. And if they can't fulfill their promise, they need to be held accountable."

Kloubuchar said she believes customers have a right to know clearly and specifically what they are getting when they sign up for a 4G data plan.

"This legislation will help ensure that wireless companies are honest about their product's capabilities so consumers can get a fair deal," she said.
post #2 of 58
i think i just bought an 8G phone and plan from at&t ... i am sooo far ahead of you guys.
"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
Reply
"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
Reply
post #3 of 58
This makes me ill.
post #4 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

i think i just bought an 8G phone and plan from at&t ... i am sooo far ahead of you guys.

By the time they would pass anything like this, you will.
post #5 of 58
Every bill requires to more bills
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #6 of 58
Even if this passed, consumers still wouldn't know or understand the real world data speeds of the devices they chose.

At least not the ones who can't discern for them selves the differences in "4G" marketing speak.
post #7 of 58
To hell with this - let's see some legislation that requires carriers to unlock all subsidized handsets after the contract ends.
post #8 of 58
<sarcasm>
When I look at all the issues that require attention in this country, this is the one that always boils to the top for me.
</sarcasm>
post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

To hell with this - let's see some legislation that requires carriers to sell all handsets unlocked.

Fixed.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

To hell with this - let's see some legislation that requires carriers to unlock all subsidized handsets after the contract ends.

Or lower the price after the contract period ends.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Fixed.

Yes I concur! Carriers should have NO say as to what I can do with my phone as long as I still pay what my contract states. You shouldn't have to wait until your contract ends to get it unlocked, you should be able to unlock it immediately.

The way I see it, you pay that subsidized price for a phone so that your carrier can lock you into paying for their services for at least 2 years. As long the user is doing that, who gives a flying spaghetti monster what you do with the actual phone?

UNLOCK AT POS!!!
post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The bill was created because there is no standard definition for 4G wireless broadband Internet.

This is not true.

'The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has the job of deciding which G is which. Under its definition, LTE is 3.9G.

The ITU's standard for 4G technology demands that it be capable of pushing data around at a rate of 1 gigabit per second. LTE is designed to handle a mere 100 megabits per second.'


- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15079004
post #13 of 58
Truth in advertising ... wow what a concept.
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
Reply
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
Reply
post #14 of 58
I think its silly that congress needs to be involved with this... after all... shouldn't this rest on the shoulders of the FCC & FTC?

However... I applaud any effort to fix the mess. Since the "4G" term has been dumbed down to allow companies to abuse the hell out of it... it has become a joke.

Its a sad state of affairs in the States how the major carriers smoke-n-mirror consumers. Where I live now.... 3G speed is 21.6Mbit/s down and 5.7Mbit/s up.... where as our 4G services is 100Mbit/s on the down and 50Mbit/s on the up. Oh... and did I mention its true unlimited at those speeds?

Though... keep in mind... at least here that is... that 4G has a very VERY limited footprint. Also... 4G devices do not necessarily downgrade to 3G service as the two are often incompatible... you need to read the fine print.

FYI: Here are the plan comparisons (PC& Tablets): https://www.emt.ee/en/internet-arvut...4079272-tabs-2

btw - not trying to brag... just would love the consumers to stand up and say enough is enough!
post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Truth in advertising ... wow what a concept.

1. If the Senate was concerned about truth, none of them would ever speak in public.

2. The consumer that believes an advertisement deserves what he/she/it gets. There are plenty of private consumer protection and information groups. Do we really need two branches of the Federal Government acting as yet another?

I loved the list of requirements. Guaranteed minimum speed....
post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Guaranteed minimum data speed
Network reliability
Coverage area maps
Pricing
Technology used to provide 4G service

For the first one - wish we had that for broadband internet speeds. For the last one - how about that fact that all current iterations of 4g were not the orignal 4g that was supposed to be faster than 30mbps
post #17 of 58
This bill needs some seriously careful writing, though.

Instead of defining 4G, it needs to be the framework for defining ALL Gs. ALL future iterations of cellular data forced to have a minimum speed. And whatever else.

And it needs to include BROBDINGNAGIANLY HUGE fines for the telecoms that aren't following the rules NOW.

Yes, I'm talking about retroactive legislation. Something needs to be done, at least.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPilya View Post

I think its silly that congress needs to be involved with this... after all... shouldn't this rest on the shoulders of the FCC & FTC?

The FCC and FTC get their authority, including limits, from the Legislative Branch. Well, that's the way it was drawn up long ago between Legislative and Executive. Not having read the bill, I'd guess that it authorizes the FCC to keep an eye on this and the DoJ to take action when the FCC notices a violation and perhaps some penalties for the 3rd Branch so they aren't bored.
post #19 of 58
Why don't they take a page from Proctor & Gamble, and just say:

"NEW AND IMPROVED" - (never have to answer any quesions at all).
post #20 of 58
Congress has no say on what is 4G.


The ITU has already defined it. Basically, WIMAX, LTE, and HSPA+ are all 4G now (as of last December).


http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/p...s/2010/48.aspx
post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

To hell with this - let's see some legislation that requires carriers to unlock all subsidized handsets after the contract ends.

+1 We already have that in the UK, but clearly should be available in the US
post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ombra2105 View Post

+1 We already have that in the UK, but clearly should be available in the US

True but it would have mattered little for domestic only users until gen iPhone 4S
post #23 of 58
Once they fix that 14+ trillion dollar deficit thing this should be the very next piece of legislation. I can't think of anything more pressing. ((heavily satire laden statement))

We have agencies that already have authority to deal with this and simply need to.
post #24 of 58
Al Franken should have stuck to SNL.

Everyone would have been better off.
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxis View Post

We have agencies that already have authority to deal with this and simply need to.

And since they haven't, someone else has to clean up the mess. It's like children who don't clean up their room.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Al Franken should have stuck to SNL.

Everyone would have been better off.

He's consistant about being a consumer watchdog. If that's what his State wants him to do, so be it.

Do we really want this derailed by pointing at individuals? One of the other two introducing it is from the same State as Al.
post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

He's consistant about being a consumer watchdog. If that's what his State wants him to do, so be it.

Do we really want this derailed by pointing at individuals? One of the others introducing it is from the same State as Al.

Who said anything about a state? I said I miss him in SNL. Chill.
post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Who said anything about a state? I said I miss him in SNL. Chill.

I am chill.
post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Truth in advertising ... wow what a concept.

But what about "free market", "buyer beware", and "if people can't tell the difference, then they don't deserve to have a phone"?
post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

To hell with this - let's see some legislation that requires carriers to unlock all subsidized handsets after the contract ends.

Now that's a bill I would support!
post #31 of 58
<Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn>

a proposal from hell by three of the worst legislators in congress.
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Or lower the price after the contract period ends.

Not 'or', 'and'.
post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

But what about "free market", "buyer beware", and "if people can't tell the difference, then they don't deserve to have a phone"?

I made no reference as to whether I was for or against, merely laughing at the idea that anything in any advert was ever or could ever be true.
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
Reply
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
Reply
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

To hell with this - let's see some legislation that requires carriers to unlock all subsidized handsets after the contract ends.

This is what I thought. This bill is nice and all, but really the telcos should be forced to provide unlock codes for handsets that are outside of contract (or heck, once you've payed the early termination fee to get out of contract).
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

2. The consumer that believes an advertisement deserves what he/she/it gets. There are plenty of private consumer protection and information groups. Do we really need two branches of the Federal Government acting as yet another?

The difference is that any private group can only apply public shaming as a penalty, the state can apply fines and prison sentences.
post #36 of 58
This is what our Congress is wasting time on? Like they don't have enough serious matters on their plates, such as cutting down our extremely bloated government, making it more efficient, and reducing its burden on present and future generations?

Instead, these bozos are worrying about how 4G speeds are advertised in the cel phone industry.

Looks like three more Democrat morons are going to be out of a job soon...
post #37 of 58
What are you guys complaining about?!

the UTI may have defined what 4G is, but what this bill states will be the MINIMUM speed you will get. Will expose those who throttle, but at least we'll know what the minimum will be.

For once in my life I partially agree with Dems, and sadly AL Franklen... cold beer in hell please?
post #38 of 58
Nanny State to the rescue!
post #39 of 58
And for Al Frankin's next trick, he can sponsor a bill protecting us from misleading movie names.

Here's your first victim who needs saving, Al:

http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10...ive/?hpt=hp_c2

P.S. Jump right on it, Al, because I guarantee you she votes "Democrat" every chance she gets....
post #40 of 58
More excuses for Congress to interfere and hamper the course of business. Let consumers decide based on the information they're given. If a carrier "lies" to consumers, they'll lose business plain and simple. The Internet treats all information equally and it's dispersal is more "flat" than ever.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
  • US senators propose bill to require 'accurate 4G information for consumers'
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › US senators propose bill to require 'accurate 4G information for consumers'