David vs. Goliath: FCC Makes Data Roaming Mandatory
The FCC has managed to anger major carriers with its most recent mandate: that carriers institute data roaming for all customers.
In essence, this means that carriers are required to let all users (even users from smaller carriers) check email and browse the Internet no matter where they are. The consequences of this decision are great for small, regional carriers, but irksome to large, nationwide carriers such as Verizon and AT&T because they must share their network with roaming regional customers.
Back in 2007, the FCC made the same mandate for voice and messaging, saying carriers must allow roaming to all users. This decision specifically targets ever-increasing data usage.
Obviously, Verizon and AT&T have protested, saying the FCC's decision will slow their expansion into niche markets . And the vote wasn't unanimous at the FCC; two of the five people deciding the issue voted against mandatory data roaming.