Rural Cellular Association Files FCC Petition Demanding More Choices for Consumers

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MCLEAN, Va., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rural Cellular Association (RCA), a group of more than 80 small and rural wireless providers, filed a petition today with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate and, as necessary, adopt rules to prohibit exclusivity arrangements between wireless carriers and cell phone manufacturers. The petition asks the FCC to prohibit unfair arrangements between carriers and manufacturers that stifle consumer choice, decrease competition and violate the Communications Act.

Due to exclusivity arrangements, many Americans are unable to use some of today's most popular cell phones. Those affected usually live in rural areas where service from some wireless carriers is not available. Examples of some of the best-selling handsets still unavailable to many Americans include AT&T's Apple iPhone and Verizon's LG Voyager(TM).

"It is important that all Americans have equal access to the latest technology, including wireless devices, regardless of where they live or which carrier provides the service," said David Nace, counsel to RCA. "RCA is standing up for consumer's rights and putting an end to exclusivity arrangements that create another 'digital divide' between urban and rural America."

The petition also contends that consumers who are able to purchase and use these popular phones are often forced to pay a premium price for their desired handset and required to change carriers.

The petition can be accessed at www.rca-usa.org.

About RCA

RCA is an association representing the interests of more than 80 small and rural wireless licensees providing commercial services to subscribers throughout the nation. RCA's wireless carriers operate in rural markets and in a few small metropolitan areas. No member has as many as one million customers, and all but two of RCA's members serve fewer than 500,000 customers.

SOURCE Rural Cellular Association