Does Enforcement Lurk Behind the New Wireless Industry Customer Billing Alerts?

According to FierceWireless and other news sources, the wireless industry announced this morning an agreement with the FCC and consumer groups to provide free text alerts to consumers before they exceed their plan limits on voice minutes, text messages, data usage or international roaming. The press release is available on the CTIA website here. A good summary of the agreement is available here.

Not surprisingly, the FCC Commissioners have praised the industry for these new voluntary” measures. Statements from Chairman Genachowski, and Commissioners Copps and Clyburn have already been released.

This agreement likely will allow the FCC to close its bill shock” rulemaking proceeding without adopting formal rules. The new Guidelines will have to be reviewed carefully, however, particularly since Commissioner Clyburn’s statement asserts that the guidelines contain a mechanism to assist the FCC’s enforcement of them. That sounds more like a mandate than voluntary guidelines.