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AT&T Calls T-Mobile’s Data Roaming Proposals Unlawful

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 10:34am
Ben Munson

AT&T has responded to T-Mobile’s petition of the FCC to rewrite data roaming rules, calling the proposal unlawful.

In a blog post today, AT&T Vice President of Regulatory Joan Marsh said T-Mobile’s revised roaming agreement rules proposal would violate the Telecommunications Act and “push the Commission’s regime over the line into impermissible common carrier regulation.”

The post points to evidence of decreased roaming rates for T-Mobile and to the CCA’s LTE roaming hub as reasons why the current rules are generating favorable roaming conditions for smaller carriers and a variety of opportunities for coverage expansion.

AT&T further asserts that T-Mobile’s proposal that includes roaming rate benchmarks, would allow T-Mobile and other carriers to bank on roaming rather than building out their own networks.

In 2011, the FCC adopted data roaming rules on par with existing voice roaming rules that dictated carriers must provide data roaming at “commercially reasonable” rates.

In an FCC filing last month, T-Mobile specifically pointed at AT&T as a carrier using ambiguity in the FCC’s 2011 Data Roaming Order in order to offer unreasonable roaming rates. T-Mobile asserts that it’s had to throttle customers roaming on AT&T’s network because of those supposedly unreasonable roaming rates.

T-Mobile clarified that it is not seeking regulation of rates but it is requesting “guidance to facilitate negotiation of commercial agreements and dispute resolution.”

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