Free Press Urges FCC to Investigate MetroPCS 4G Service Plans

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Josh Stearns, 413-585-1533 x204

Free Press Urges FCC to Investigate MetroPCS 4G Service Plans

Mobile Provider Builds Walled Garden for Mobile Web

WASHINGTON - MetroPCS has announced changes to its 4G service plans that offer a
glimpse of the future of the mobile Internet, as blessed by the Federal
Communications Commission, where carriers, not users, decide what
content is important.

In its new scheme, MetroPCS is advertising unlimited talk, text, “Web
browsing” and YouTube at a base price of $40 per month -- with
additional features like mobile instant messaging or access to audio
downloads available on higher tiers for another $10 or $20 per month.
But the new MetroPCS plans exist inside a “walled garden” that appears
to exclude Skype, Netflix and other popular consumer Internet services.

Free Press Policy Counsel M. Chris Riley made the following statement:

“In December, the FCC chose to disregard wireless protections in its
Net Neutrality order, and MetroPCS’s new scheme is a preview of the
wireless future in a world without protections on the mobile Web. Such
blocking of websites, services or applications would clearly be
prohibited and deemed unreasonable on a cable or DSL network. Are these
the kinds of restrictions the FCC really wants to promote on wireless
networks?

“The open Internet order approved in December stated that the FCC was
not implicitly approving practices on the mobile Web that violate its
rule against unreasonable discrimination – and now we’ll see whether the
agency is willing to do anything about such practices. Silence in the
face of ongoing violations is no different from outright approval. If
MetroPCS is allowed to engage in rampant discrimination and blocking of
Internet applications and services, will Verizon be next? Will AT&T
extend its history of blocking services like VoIP and Sling on its LTE
network in the future?

“MetroPCS’s plan will restrict consumer choice and innovation in a
developing mobile market, all for the sake of further padding its bottom
line. The FCC must not stand idly by while carriers are engaging in
anti-consumer and anti-competitive behavior, and we urge the agency to
investigate.”

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net

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