FCC Publishes Site to Help Consumers Avoid Bill Shock
The Federal Communications Commission today launched a new online tool for consumers that provides information about bill shock. The web site is the result of an action called for by The CTIA Wireless Association last year about a set of self-imposed guidelines for alerting customers about their data, messaging, voice, and international roaming usage before reaching their monthly limits. The web site offers clear information about the policies of U.S.-based wireless networks and when/how they'll alert users about their monthly services consumption. FCC Chairman Genachowski said, "Using technology to empower consumers with information has been among the top priorities of the Commission. Last October, announce[d] new commitments to provide free alerts to consumers before they approach limits and incur fees. We also promised an online resource with information about when carriers begin providing these alerts. Today, we deliver on that promise." Usage alerts gained momentum during 2010 and 2011 when lawmakers started complaining of "bill shock."
Nov 30, 2017
Google today announced Datally, a new app meant to help mobile device owners manage their data usage thanks to fine-tuned controls. To start, the app lets people view their data usage on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Apr 4, 2018
Facebook today made significant changes to its platform as it continues to deal with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica breach. To start, the company now believes Cambridge Analytica was given improper access to the data of as many as 87 million people, mostly U.S.
Nov 15, 2018
AT&T plans to cease offering AT&T Smart Limits, a service that allows parents to control their kids' phones, on November 26. Smart Limits will no longer be available after that date.
Dec 15, 2017
The FCC has added a new type of alert to the Emergency Alert System that is specifically meant for law enforcement officers and other first responders. Joining the Amber Alert and Silver Alert, the new Blue Alert can be used by state and local authorities to notify the public of threats to law enforcement and request help in apprehending suspects.
Oct 19, 2016
The FCC today announced a $48 million settlement with T-Mobile over T-Mobile's failure to adequately disclose limits on data plans that they had marketed as "unlimited". The plans actually capped users at 17 GB per month, after which users experienced throttled speeds when and where the network was congested.