Following the lead of rival Verizon Wireless, AT&T said late last week it will soon raise early termination fees (ETFs) from $175 to $325 for wireless contracts that cover netbooks and other “smart” devices that include the Apple iPhone. AT&T—the exclusive distributor of the iPhone in the U.S.—disclosed the policy change as Apple prepares to roll out a new version of the iPhone next month that is expected to bring new flocks of customers to AT&T. Sources also anticipate that Apple will end its exclusive contract with AT&T within a year to enable Verizon and other U.S. carriers to offer the iPhone to their subscribers. Announced six months after Verizon doubled its smart phone ETF from $175 to $350, AT&T’s revised ETF will go into effect next month for new smart phone customers. Conversely, AT&T said it would reduce contract ETFs for users of standard wireless handsets by $25. Commenting on the policy change, an AT&T spokesman said it was a “fair approach” to reduce ETFs for customers with less expensive devices while raising ETFs for subscribers who purchase expensive smart phones. That explanation, however, did little to satisfy Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the author of pending legislation that would limit wireless ETFs. (Verizon’s fee hike last year also induced the FCC to request information from Verizon and other top U.S. wireless carriers on their ETF policies.) Lamenting that, “once again, wireless providers have shown that they would rather use arbitrary fees than network and service quality to keep customers,” Klobuchar declared: “it is time for Congress and the [FCC] to act to ensure competition and consumer protection in the cell phone marketplace.”