June 17th, 2009 17:29 EST
Senate Commerce Committee hearing today to consider the consumer wireless experience
WASHINGTON -- Today, Free Press launched FreeMyPhone, a campaign that calls on leaders in Washington to open up wireless networks and promote consumer choice.
The Senate Commerce Committee will discuss the consumer wireless experience at a hearing today, following a letter sent earlier this week to the Federal Communications Commission laying out concerns of committee members about exclusive deals struck between wireless carriers and equipment manufacturers.
Watch the Senate Commerce Committee hearing: http://commerce.senate.gov
Recent actions by wireless carriers have sparked controversy. Apple will release the new iPhone on Friday, but consumers were outraged to learn that AT&T has delayed certain popular features that are available in other countries. AT&T also recently acknowledged playing a role in blocking Skype, the popular voice application, on its 3G network. And most major wireless companies have terms of service that prohibit the use of certain applications and services.
This spring, Free Press sent a letter to the FCC asking the agency to confirm that wireless networks must adhere to the Internet Policy Statement, which protects consumers` right to access any online content and services on any device of their choosing.
Timothy Karr, campaign director of Free Press, issued the following statement:
"Wireless companies promise the Internet in your packet, but deliver the walled wireless web. Through exclusive deals for phones like the iPhone and BlackBerry Storm, wireless companies have stifled innovation, crippled applications, and stuck users with the bill.
"The FreeMyPhone campaign offers consumers a chance to get involved and demand better policies. Congress and the FCC should ensure that we have the freedom to use our phones as we want on wireless networks that offer true high-speed Internet and real consumer choice."
Read the Free Press letter to the FCC: http://www.freepress.net/files/Wireless_IPS_letter.pdf
For more information, visit http://www.freepress.net/freemyphone
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