“All the kids do it” excuse does not work for FCC chief

“All the kids do it” excuse does not work for FCC chief

11 AUG 2014

Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler (pictured), unconvinced by Verizon Wireless’ arguments for its 4G network management policy, has written to other US operators about when they slow down data speeds for their subscribers, according to a number of media reports.

“My concern in this instance – and it’s not just with Verizon, by the way, we’ve written to all the carriers – is that it is moving from a technology and engineering issues to the business issues … such as choosing between different subscribers based on your economic relationship with them,” said Wheeler, speaking at a press conference.

Verizon Wireless said last week its policy was “a highly targeted and very limited network optimisation effort, only targeting cell sites experiencing high demand.”

The operator said the approach was “widely accepted” with the industry, an argument that drew the following response from Wheeler.

“’All the kids do it’ was never something that worked with me when I was growing up and didn’t work with my kids,” he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. Wheeler’s comments were also picked up by Reuters.

The start of the current spat was a proposal by Verizon Wireless that it might limit network speeds for its heaviest 4G users – equivalent to the top five per cent – during periods of heavy network congestion. Wheeler wrote to the operator, expressing his concern. His letter drew a response from Verizon Wireless, to which the FCC chief then responded late last week.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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