• A paper published by Public Knowledge on April 23, 2012 analyzes wireless data caps and so-called "usage-based billing.” According to Public Knowledge, “Usage-based pricing, today most commonly encountered in the form of data caps, is rapidly becoming part of the Internet access landscape. Wired and wireless Internet service providers – most of whom had traditionally operated on an unlimited basis – are evaluating or implementing pricing strategies that limit the amount of data a customer can use, charge customers for using data beyond a predetermined amount, or combine the two.” Through the paper, Public Knowledge hopes to begin a public dialogue and the paper sets forth “a series of conclusions and recommendations for responsible implementation of usage-based pricing.” The full paper is available here.
  • Comments to the FCC on the impact of a public safety network on Commercial Mobile Radio Service are due today, April 30, 2012, with Reply Comments due May 30, 2012. The call for comments was issued in response to a decision to suspend service in San Francisco’s subway system last August. The Public Notice asks for comment on several topics, including: past practices and precedents; bases for interrupting wireless service; risks in interrupting mobile communications; scope of interruption; authority to interrupt service; and the legal constraints on service disruption. The notice is available here.
  • The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has opened a proceeding to consider whether Canada should begin to regulate retail wireless services. As has the United States, the CRTC previously declined to impose regulations on the wireless market, believing that there was sufficient competition to impose constraints on wireless carriers. But according to the Notice of Consultation released April 4, 2012, “the Commission is seeking comments on whether the conditions for forbearance have changed sufficiently to warrant Commission intervention in the development of a national retail wireless services consumer code.” Interested parties must intervene by May 3, 2012, and Reply Comments must be filed by May 14, 2012. The Commission expects to issue a ruling about four months later. The Notice of Consultation is available here.