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October 26, 2011

New FCC Rule Impacts Communications Providers

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The Federal Communications Commission delivered a blow to communications providers with a recent move. Following a two-year investigation into “bill shock”, where a customer receives an unexpected increase on their monthly wireless bill, the FCC (News - Alert) has now ruled in favor of the customer. 

According to this news report, beginning in October 2012, a communications provider offering subscriber services, including various wireless companies will have to alert their customers when they are approaching monthly limits on data, voice and text messages. This includes when the user is nearing those limits and a second notice when the limits have been reached.

“Every consumer deserves to be treated fairly,” said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski (News - Alert) in a statement regarding the new rule. “(The agreement) harnesses technology to empower consumers, to ensure consumers get a fair shake and not bill shock.”

The new first broke when the FCC discovered that 84 percent of Americans have been the victim of “bill shock”. Those customers were given no notification by their communications provider about when they were about to go over their limits and still no alert when they had, in fact, gone over their limit. 

This new bill should provide for a better relationship opportunity between the consumer and the communications provider, although a number of carriers are protesting the new law. 

In other communications provider news, TMCnet recently announced that BroadSoft has improved its Unified Communications (News - Alert) capabilities. This will give global service providers the opportunity to offer unique market offerings to their end users. BroadSoft’s cloud-based platforms, BroadCloud and BroadWorks, come together to offer new solutions for some impressive new features for the UC platform. 

Service delivery for a fixed-mobile convergence solution in SIP trunking, known as BroadWorks BusinessLInk, expands the current PBX offerings for mobile devices. Users can talk either individually or in a group. 

Another well-established communications provider, PowerNet Global (News - Alert), powers the Gryphone Core Phone. This Core Phone (News - Alert) was created for the employee who needs to complete business-related calls within the company. It is easy to use and customizable for those businesses that offer telemarketing services and are required to meet privacy laws. In order to ensure consumer privacy, the Core Phone scrubs a consumer’s phone number against the federal, state and internal do-not-call lists, instantly.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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