Appeals court affirms state regulation of billing

In a ruling seen as a setback for the wireless industry, a federal court of appeals in Atlanta said states indeed have the right to define carrier billing practices. The court said the FCC overstepped its authority in telling states they could not regulate the way operators listed charges on a line-item basis. The Atlanta court ruled that the FCC "exceeded its authority when it preempted the states from requiring or prohibiting the use of line items. The scope of federal authority to regulate 'rates' or 'entry' does not include the presentation of line items on cellular wireless bills. This billing practice is a matter 'of other terms and conditions' that Congress intended to be regulable by the states." CTIA said the decision highlights the need for Congress to re-establish a firm and consistent national regulatory framework for wireless service and will increase carrier costs as they try to conform to the various state policies.

For more about the appeals court ruling:
- read this article from Wireless Week