Congress decimates 911's digital upgrade

Public safety officials fear the nation's 911 centers will continue to languish in the analog era, after Democrats slashed proposed funding for a digital makeover in their social spending bill.

CTIA 2020 Annual Survey Highlights

Mobile data usage is at least 96 times higher today than it was just 10 years ago, according to a new report about US wireless industry growth from industry association CTIA. Annual mobile data consumption jumped from 388 billion megabytes (MB) in 2010 to 37.06 trillion MB in 2019. In 2020, the average smartphone user consumed 9.2 GB per month, up from 6.6 GB per month in 2019.

President Trump reportedly clashes with AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile over spam texts

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is reportedly fighting cellphone carriers over the right to send Americans unsolicited texts. The campaign’s lawyers are in active talks with phone companies after a third-party screening tool blocked President Trump texts in early July. The campaign alleges that screening the texts amounts to suppressing political speech, while carriers fear allowing them will result in fines for violating anti-spam rules.

Chairman Pai Announces Improved Wireless Emergency Alerts Now Available

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced availability of a suite of enhancements to Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) that will enable Americans to receive more geographically precise, effective, and informative alerts on their mobile phones during emergencies, which will help save lives. Local officials are now better able to send geotargeted wireless alerts to areas affected by an emergency without reaching unaffected communities, which will increase confidence in alerting and promote public safety—especially during evacuations.

FCC Seeks Comment On Petition For Declaratory Ruling or Rulemaking on Unwanted Texts

The Federal Communications Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau seeks comment on a petition for declaratory ruling or, alternatively, rulemaking filed by Paul Armbruster. Specifically, Armbruster seeks a ruling “confirming that a cellular phone customer can revoke consent to receive any and all unwanted text messages from their cell service provider.” According to the Petition, Armbruster was informed by his wireless service provider that “customers are not able to opt-out of receiving certain purely informational texts.” He acknowledges that “cellular carriers need not obt

Mobile Data Use Nearly Doubles, CTIA Annual Survey Shows

Americans used 82% more mobile data in 2018 than in 2017, as results of annual survey showed an increase in wireless across nearly every metric, reflecting unprecedented consumer demand. Key findings:

FCC Seeks to Combat Illegal Spoofed Texts & International Calls

The Federal Communications Commission proposed rules banning illegal spoofed text messages and international calls. The proposed rules would enable the agency to address consumer concerns about unwanted text messages and scam calls from overseas. The rules, if adopted, would ensure that the FCC is also able to bring enforcement actions against bad actors who spoof text messages and spoofers who seek out victims in this country from overseas. 

Public Knowledge Petitions FCC to Reconsider Allowing Carriers to Restrict Text Messaging

Public Knowledge, joined by the Benton Foundation and 14 consumer, rural, and public interest groups, filed a Petition for Reconsideration opposing the Federal Communications Commission’s recent Declaratory Ruling classifying text messaging as a Title I information service under the Communications Act. The groups believe this action undermines the public’s right to use text messaging without undue interference from wireless companies.

Verizon blames school text provider in dispute over “spam” fee

After being criticized for charging a new fee that could kill a free texting service for teachers and students, Verizon is trying to deflect blame. Now Verizon is offering to reverse the fee for K-12 users of the free Remind service. "Verizon will not charge Remind fees as long as they don't begin charging K-12 schools, educators, parents, and students using its free text message service," Verizon said.

Verizon charges new “spam” fee for texts sent from teachers to students

A free texting service used by teachers, students, and parents may stop working on the Verizon Wireless network because of a dispute over texting fees that Verizon demanded from the company that operates the service. As a result, teachers that use the service have been expressing their displeasure with Verizon. Remind—the company that offers the classroom communication service—criticized Verizon for charging the new fee.