State and wireless firms squabble over blame for high cellphone rates

Summary:Wireless companies want to advertise cell phone plans without including the full monthly cost, which includes hefty taxes and fees to state and federal agencies. The Supreme court declined the case.

Wireless companies want to advertise cell phone plans without including the full monthly cost, which includes hefty taxes and fees to state and federal agencies. The Supreme court declined the case.

From Cnet by Anne Broache: Supreme Court rejects cell-phone tax case

The case at hand, which pitted Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA against state utility regulators, centers on whether states should be allowed to forbid wireless carriers from breaking out various state and local taxes as line-item fees on a customer's bill.

...The wireless companies, naturally, maintain they should be able to establish a visible separation between the base prices of their services and the fees required by various regulators. States and localities have increasingly been passing laws prohibiting those line items expressly in order to "hide" arguably unpopular taxes and fees from consumers, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile said in their brief to the high court.

I have no sympathy for either side. Cell phone rates are way to high anyway.

The wireless companies show those "teaser" rates when the full price is always much higher. Let's have truth in advertising and show the full cost of monthly service.

The state and federal agencies are in cahoots with each other anyway, to make sure that no technologies get around their stranglehold on wireless communications. Regulation means you have the government on your side and competition is pushed well to the outside because of onerous requirements.

This stranglehold enables a digital divide that is bad for innovation and bad for Silicon Valley, imho.

Topics: Wi-Fi, Banking, Government, Government : US, Hardware, Mobility, Networking

About

In May 2004, Tom Foremski became the first journalist to leave a major newspaper, the Financial Times, to make a living as a full-time journalist blogger. He writes the popular news blog Silicon Valley Watcher--reporting on the business of Silicon Valley.Tom arrived in San Francisco in 1984, and has covered US technology markets for leadi... Full Bio

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