Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Senators call for investigation of cellular company practices

Several US Senators, including John Kerry and Herb Kohl, are calling for investigation of anti-competitive practices by cell phone companies. The Senators are bothered by restrictions like limiting the Apple iPhone to one carrier, AT&T, and the lockstep price increases we noted earlier.

It is encouraging to see these issues raised, but anti-competitive behavior by the telephone and cable companies goes far beyond cell phone restrictions.

We need to question fundamental assumptions about the role of the Internet as basic economic and social infrastructure, the appropriate role for government ownership of infrastructure, and the service-oriented business model of the incumbent ISPs .

This call for investigation is limited in scope and far from action and results -- let's hope it is just the first step.