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Senators intro wireless consumer protection bill, industry complains

Chris Ziegler

A continuation of earlier sessions on the subject, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Jay Rockefeller have introduced legislation this month that could throw a rather hefty monkey wrench at the contracts and early termination fees wireless subscribers have come to know and love loathe. Known as the "Cellphone Consumer Empowerment Act of 2007," the proposed bill takes swings at virtually every aspect of carriers' billing practices, limiting what fees can be listed on statements, capping contract termination charges, and giving the FCC more direct control over handset locking practices. Naturally, the CTIA and its members are less than thrilled with the proposed law, arguing that it'll lead to higher bills (quite the opposite effect the legislation's sponsors had in mind) and that consumer complaints levied against carriers on the already decline without government intervention anyway. Grab some popcorn and have a seat, folks; this won't all get resolved for a hot minute or two.

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