H. R. 2281
To require accurate disclosures to consumers
of the terms and conditions of 4G service and other advanced wireless mobile broadband
service.IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Ms. ESHOO introduced the following bill; which was referred
to the Committee on Energy and Commerce
require accurate disclosures to consumers of the terms and conditions of 4G service
and other advanced wireless mobile broadband service.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States
of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act'.
Congress finds the following:
(1) In 2011, the President set a goal of bringing next generation wireless broadband
Internet access service to at least 98 percent of Americans within 5 years.
(2) The Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan sets a minimum
target of delivering universal, affordable broadband Internet access service with
actual download speeds of at least 4 megabits per second and actual upload speeds
of at least 1 megabit per second.
(3) The 4 largest wireless
service providers advertise 4G service using different wireless mobile broadband
technologies, including LTE (Long Term Evolution), WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability
for Microwave Access), and HSPA+ (Evolved High Speed Packet Access).
(4) Although the International Telecommunication Union has expanded its definition
of 4G service to include these technologies, theoretical peak speeds and actual
speeds experienced by consumers vary widely across technologies and service providers.
(5) In 2010, the United States wireless industry generated almost $160 billion
in revenue, with approximately $50 billion of this total derived from wireless
(6) Consumers need accurate information before
selecting a provider of wireless mobile broadband service.
(7) Providers and other sellers of advanced wireless mobile broadband service
should be required to make accurate and reasonable disclosures of the terms and
conditions of such service in order to give consumers the necessary information
to make informed decisions about such service and to promote greater transparency
in the market.
SEC. 3. REQUIRED DISCLOSURES OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS
OF ADVANCED WIRELESS MOBILE BROADBAND SERVICE.
(1) IN GENERAL- A person who sells advanced wireless mobile broadband service
directly to a consumer shall accurately disclose the terms and conditions of such
service by displaying such terms and conditions consistently, clearly, and prominently
in all marketing materials for such service, at the point of sale of such service,
and (in the case of postpaid advanced wireless mobile broadband service) in all
bills for such service. The terms and conditions disclosed shall include the information
described in subsection (c).
(2) SPECIAL RULES FOR PREPAID
(A) OFF-THE-SHELF TRANSACTIONS- Paragraph
(1) does not apply in the case of a transaction in which both--
(i) the consumer receives a device that allows the consumer to access a specified
quantity of prepaid advanced wireless mobile broadband service; and
(ii) the consumer's interaction with the agents of the person from whom the consumer
makes the purchase is such that the average consumer would not expect such agents
to have expertise regarding the terms and conditions of such service.
(B) PACKAGERS OF PREPAID SERVICE- A person who packages prepaid advanced wireless
mobile broadband service for ultimate sale to a consumer in a transaction described
in subparagraph (A) shall accurately disclose the terms and conditions of such
service by displaying such terms and conditions consistently, clearly, and prominently
in all marketing materials for such service and on the packaging of the device
described in clause (i) of such subparagraph. The terms and conditions disclosed
shall include the information described in subsection (c).
(b) Sale to Resellers- A person who sells advanced wireless mobile broadband service
wholesale to another person for ultimate sale to consumers shall disclose to such
other person the information necessary to permit such other person to comply with
(c) Information Described- The information described
in this subsection is the following:
(1) The guaranteed minimum
transmit and receive data rates for Internet protocol packets to and from on-network
hosts for the service, expressed in megabits per second. For purposes of the preceding
sentence, a minimum data rate is not guaranteed unless it is available for a percentage
of the time in a calendar month to be established by the Commission.
(2) The reliability rating of the service. The Commission shall establish a standard
method that shall be used to calculate the reliability rating of the service,
which shall be based on the data session start success percentage (network accessibility)
and the data session completion success percentage (network retainability) of
(3) The price of the service stated in terms
(A) in the case of service that is priced based
on the volume of data sent or received, the price per unit of data sent or received;
(B) in the case of service for which a flat
rate is charged for service over a given time period--
(ii) a detailed
description of any limits on the use of such service over such time period, by
volume of data sent or received or otherwise.
(4) Any other charges that the consumer of the service will incur that are not
included in the price as stated pursuant to paragraph (3).
(5) The network management policies of the service with respect to Internet protocol
packets to and from on-network hosts, including the following:
(A) Any business practices or technical mechanisms employed by the service provider,
other than standard best-effort delivery, that allocate capacity or prioritize
traffic differently on the basis of the source of the applications, content, or
(B) Any limits or prohibitions on
the use of certain applications or services.
(C) Any traffic shaping or throttling mechanisms that affect the service as a
result of exceeding certain usage limits.
technology used to provide the service, such as LTE (Long Term Evolution), WiMAX
(Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access), or HSPA+ (Evolved High Speed
(7) The uniform resource locator of a
website (together with a brief description of the contents of the website) on
which is located the following:
(A) The complete
terms of service, acceptable use policy, and any other documentation related to
the network management policies of the service provider.
(B) A map of the coverage area of the service. If different technologies are used
to provide the service in different geographic areas, the map shall indicate the
technology used in each area.
(d) Manner and Form of
Disclosures- The Commission may prescribe the manner and form of the disclosures
required by this section.
(e) Regulations- Not later than 180
days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall promulgate
regulations implementing this section.
(f) Enforcement- The Commission
shall enforce this section as if this section were a part of the Communications
Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.). A violation of this section or a regulation
promulgated under this section shall be considered to be a violation of such Act
or a regulation promulgated under such Act, respectively.
Coverage Area Defined- In this section, the term `coverage area' shall have the
meaning given such term by the Commission. The Commission shall set minimum signal
strength and data rate requirements in order for a location to be considered to
be within the coverage area of an advanced wireless mobile broadband service.
4. STUDY BY FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION.
(a) Study- Not
later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter,
the Commission shall complete a study evaluating the speed and pricing of advanced
wireless mobile broadband service offered in the United States by the 10 largest
providers of such service, as measured by the number of consumers to whom a provider
provides such service in coverage areas that include any part of the United States.
(b) Initial Report to Congress- Not later than 10 days after completing the initial
study required by subsection (a), the Commission shall submit to Congress a report
on the results of such study.
(c) Inclusion in Annual CMRS Competition
Reports- The Commission shall include the results of each study conducted under
subsection (a) in the next report on the findings of the review required by section
332(c)(1)(C) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 332(c)(1)(C)) that is
adopted after the completion of such study.
SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.
(1) 4G SERVICE- The term `4G service' includes
wireless mobile broadband service that utilizes technologies that fulfill the
requirements set forth in the International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced
standard promulgated by the International Telecommunication Union, any forerunner
technologies for which the designation `4G' has been approved by the International
Telecommunication Union, and any technologies that are broadly marketed as `4G'
(2) ADVANCED WIRELESS MOBILE BROADBAND SERVICE-
The term `advanced wireless mobile broadband service' means 4G service or any
wireless mobile broadband service that utilizes a successor technology to 4G technology.
(3) BEST-EFFORT DELIVERY- The term `best-effort delivery' means the common Internet
protocol network model in which a network service routes Internet protocol packets
on a first-in, first-out basis and does not distinguish based on the source, type,
or other unique characteristics of the Internet protocol packets for the purpose
of establishing different levels of delivery priority.
(4) COMMISSION- The term `Commission' means the Federal Communications Commission.
(5) ON-NETWORK HOST- The term `on-network host' means any networking routing equipment
owned, operated, or within the control of a wireless mobile broadband service
provider that transmits or receives Internet protocol packets or any points in
a network before a subscriber's data traffic travels to a centralized routing
facility that interconnects at an exchange point with broadband service providers
that are not affiliated with such wireless mobile broadband service provider.
(6) POSTPAID- The term `postpaid' means, with respect to advanced wireless mobile
broadband service, that the service is not prepaid.
PREPAID- The term `prepaid' means, with respect to advanced wireless mobile broadband
service, that the consumer of such service pays for a specified quantity of service
(whether measured by volume of data transferred, amount of time the service is
in use, or otherwise) before gaining access to such service and must affirmatively
purchase any additional quantities of service before gaining access to such additional