Roaming rules spark controversy

Not everyone is happy with last year's FCC rules regarding roaming. The rules require carriers to allow roaming at reasonable rates for the requesting carrier so their customers can roam outside the carrier's network. At issue is the "in-market exception rule," which says that a roaming deal is not required if the competitor holds spectrum rights in an area where it would like to have a roaming agreement for its customers.

Smaller operators without national footprints argue that this is unfair because it can take several years for an operator to build out a network in a license area and in some cases, such as with AWS spectrum, the spectrum is encumbered for a number of years preventing the carrier from building there.

Now two congressmen have weighed in on the battle. In a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, Reps. Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas) and Mike Doyle (D-Penn) said that the "in-market exception services as a secondary buildout requirement that does not serve our constituents who depend on small and regional carriers to provide competitive choice in the marketplace."

For more:
- see this RCR story

Related story:
Small players want review of roaming deals