U.S. court upholds data roaming rules

In spring 2012, the FCC issued a set of rules requiring wireless carriers to offer reasonable data roaming rates. Verizon, which has been challenging FCC authority on many levels, appealed the data roaming rules to federal court.

On December 4, though, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. unanimously told Verizon that the company was indeed subject to such regulation. While Verizon claimed that the FCC lacked statutory authority, Judge David S. Tatel wrote in the opinion that, "We disagree on both counts. Title III of the Communications Act of 1934 plainly empowers the Commission to promulgate the data roaming rule."

Tatel said the FCC's "foray into roaming began in 1981 when it adopted a limited voice roaming requirement as part of the original cellular-service rules."

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was pleased with the decision saying, in a statement:

"Our rules have empowered consumers and expanded their ability to enjoy the benefits of seamless and nationwide access to mobile data services, including wireless Internet and e-mail. Enacting data roaming rules is one of many strong actions the FCC has taken in this area, and we will continue to promote broadband investment and innovation."

Verizon Loses Bid to Quash FCC's Data Roaming Rules (PC Magazine, Dec. 4, 2012)    

Court: Yes, Verizon, you do have to abide by FCC roaming rules (C/Net, Dec. 4, 2012)