TEXT OF STORY
Bill Radke: The FCC meets this week to talk about the wireless industry. Critics say that business ought to be more competitive than it is. Here’s Marketplace’s Alisa Roth.
Alisa Roth: At the top of the FCC’s list will be competition. If you’re like most Americans, your cell service comes from one of four companies: ATT, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. But just because they own 80 percent of the cell market doesn’t mean they have a monopoly. Charles Golvin is a consultant at Forrester Research.
Charles Golvin: It’s actually much more competitive than for example, broadband or home telephone or television service today.
Consumers might be more interested in some of the other items on the FCC’s agenda: like that bills are too hard to understand. And that cell service seems to cost so much. Scott Cleland is a telecom consultant. He says cell service is actually pretty cheap.
Scott Cleland: What’s odd is that that U.S. has the most competitive wireless market and we have the lowest-priced minutes per use and Americans use more wireless minutes of use because the prices are so low.
Taxes might be something for the FCC to look at: Cleland says taxes are what make the bills so complicated. And that wireless is one of the highest-taxed services in the country.
In New York I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.