San Francisco Chronicle - '4G' wireless data must be spelled out under bill
Casey Newton of the San Francisco Chronicle recently wrote a story about Rep. Eshoo's legislation, Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act, to provide consumers with information about the speed, reliability, coverage zones, pricing, and the technology of "4G" plans.
With the meaning of "4G" seemingly different for every wireless carrier, a local congresswoman will introduce a bill to force companies to disclose the speeds of their next-generation networks in stores and on customer bills.
Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, plans to introduce the Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act today. It would require carriers to inform consumers of minimum data speeds, network reliability and coverage, and the technology used to provide "4G" service.
"Consumers deserve to know exactly what they're getting for their money when they sign up for a 4G data plan," Eshoo said in a statement. "My legislation is simple - it will establish guidelines for understanding what 4G speed really is, and ensure that consumers have all the information they need to make an informed decision."
4G, which stands for "fourth generation," originated as a set of standards developed by the International Telecommunication Union, which sets rules for the wireless industry. But wireless carriers have branded their latest networks as "4G" even though they all fall short of the 100 megabit per-second standard that the telecom union had established.
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