| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 1217 (pcs) Making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2000, and for other purposes. [Placed on Calendar Senate] ...
S. 1217 (pcs) Making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2000, and for other purposes. [Placed on Calendar Senate] ...
108th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 1216 To improve wireless telephone service, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES June 9, 2003 Mr. Schumer (for himself and Mrs. Boxer) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To improve wireless telephone service, and for other purposes. 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 ``Cell Phone Users Bill of Rights''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES. (a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings: (1) Consumers rely increasingly on wireless telephone service for personal, business, and emergency communications. There are currently more than 137,000,000 wireless telephone users in the United States. This is more than a 121 percent increase in the number of such users in the past five years alone. In the future this number is projected to grow as consumers switch from wireline to wireless telephone service for their primary telephone service. (2) The lack of wireless telephone number portability--the capacity of a consumer to retain a wireless telephone number when changing wireless telephone service providers--is a barrier to competition in the market for wireless telephone service. The lack of number portability acts as a disincentive for wireless telephone service providers to improve the quality of their wireless telephone service. (3) The lack of wireless telephone number portability imposes significant costs on individual consumers and businesses looking to change wireless telephone service providers. More than half of business wireless telephone users report that number portability would make them more likely to change wireless telephone service providers. (4) Consumers cannot easily compare offers for wireless telephone service because information on terms, pricing, and service plans for such service is not presented in a uniform manner. Current wireless telephone service contracts do not clearly display the information consumers need to make an informed choice regarding a wireless telephone service contract. Consumers may not be aware of the deficiencies in wireless telephone service quality until after they have signed a contract, and exorbitant early termination penalties effectively lock consumers into undesired, long-term contracts. (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are-- (1) to improve quality of wireless telephone service; and (2) to promote consumer choice in the wireless telephone service market. SEC. 3. TELEPHONE NUMBER PORTABILITY FOR WIRELESS TELEPHONE SERVICE. (a) Requirement in Largest Markets.-- (1) Requirement.--Commencing not later than six months after the date of the enactment of this Act, or November 24, 2003, whichever is earlier, the Federal Communications Commission shall require each wireless telephone service provider offering service in one of the 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA), as defined by the Bureau of the Census, to provide consumers with the option to port telephone numbers between wireless telephone service providers by implementing wireless telephone number portability throughout the networks of wireless telephone service providers in each of such 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas. (2) Requirement not dependent on other carrier request.-- The requirement in paragraph (1) shall be implemented in each Metropolitan Statistical Area referred to in that paragraph without regard to the receipt of a request from any telecommunications carrier in such Metropolitan Statistical Area for wireless telephone number portability. (b) Other Markets.-- (1) Requirement.--Commencing not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, or November 24, 2004, whichever is earlier, the Commission shall require each wireless telephone service provider in a Metropolitan Statistical Area described in paragraph (2) to provide customers with the option to port their telephone number between wireless telephone service providers by implementing wireless telephone number portability throughout the networks of wireless telephone service providers in such Metropolitan Statistical Area. (2) Covered metropolitan statistical areas.--A Metropolitan Statistical Area described in this paragraph is a Metropolitan Statistical Area not covered by subsection (a) in which three or more wireless telephone services providers provide wireless telephone service. SEC. 4. DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR PLANS AND CONTRACTS FOR WIRELESS TELEPHONE SERVICE. (a) Disclosure Requirements.--The Federal Communications Commission shall require that any publication, including publication on the Internet, of a wireless telephone service provider of the terms of a plan or contract for wireless telephone service shall set forth, in a plain and conspicuous manner, the following information: (1) Charges.--Information on charges, including calling- from area, monthly base charge, per-minute charges for minutes not included in the plan, and the method of calculating minutes charged. (2) Minutes.--Information on minutes included in plan, including weekday/daytime, nights/weekends, long-distance, roaming, incoming, and directory assistance. (3) Contract terms.--Information on plan or contract terms, including length of contract, early or other termination fees, trial periods, and start-up fees. (4) Taxes and surcharges.-- (A) Taxes.--Information on taxes to be collected by the carrier for, and paid to, a State, local, or other governmental agency. (B) Surcharges.--Information on surcharges imposed by the carrier for the costs of compliance with regulations or for other purposes. (5) Other information.--Any other information that the Commission considers appropriate to ensure that consumers of wireless telephone service are fully informed of the terms of the plan or contract. (b) Format.--Not later than six months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall prescribe regulations requiring that the information required by subsection (a) be published by wireless telephone service providers in a tabular format, in a clear and uniform manner, and in at least 10 point font. SEC. 5. PROVISION OF INFORMATION ON WIRELESS TELEPHONE SERVICE COVERAGE AND QUALITY TO CONSUMERS. (a) Service Area Maps.-- (1) Requirement.--Each wireless telephone service provider shall make available a map showing the wireless telephone service area of such provider. Each such map shall contain the maximum practicable level of granularity. Each such map shall be updated not less often than quarterly. (2) Times of provision.--A map of the service area of a wireless telephone service shall be provided to a consumer-- (A) upon the request of the consumer; (B) whenever a plan or contract for the service is entered into; and (C) at such other times as the Federal Communications Commission shall provide. (3) Electronic availability.--Each map of a service area under paragraph (1) shall be available-- (A) on the Internet web site of the provider concerned; and (B) on the Internet web site of the Commission. (b) Service Quality.-- (1) Monitoring.--The Commission shall monitor the quality of wireless telephone service provided in the United States by requiring semiannual reports by wireless telephone service providers on the following: (A) Dropped calls. (B) Blocked calls. (C) Known coverage gaps (including average signal strength) or dead zones. (D) Predicted street level signal strength. (E) Any other matters the Commission considers appropriate. (2) Communication with public.--In monitoring the quality of wireless telephone service under paragraph (1), the Commission shall establish a toll-free telephone number (commonly referred to as an ``800'' number) and an Internet web site at which members of the public can submit to the Commission their comments and views on the quality of such service. (3) Publication.--The Commission shall make available to wireless telephone service providers and the public on a semiannual basis information on the quality of wireless telephone service provided in the United States. SEC. 6. ENFORCEMENT. (a) Enforcement by FCC.-- (1) In general.--The Federal Communications Commission shall have the power and authority to enforce the provisions of this Act as if such provisions were provisions of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.). (2) Penalties.--Penalties authorized by title V of the Communications Act of 1947 (47 U.S.C. 501 et seq.) may be imposed under this subsection for a violation of a provision of this Act. (b) Enforcement by States.-- (1) Authority.--The attorney general of a State, or the public utility commission of a State if authorized by the laws of the State, may bring a civil action on behalf of the residents of the State in a district court of the United States of appropriate jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this Act. (2) Penalties.--Penalties authorized by title V of the Communications Act of 1934 for a violation of a provision of that Act may be imposed in a civil action under this subsection for a violation of a provision of this Act. SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) Wireless telephone service.--The term ``wireless telephone service'' means any form of wireless telephone service, including cellular telephone service, broadband Personal Communication Service (PCS) telephone service, Covered Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) service, and any successor service to such service (including so-called next generation or third generations service). (2) Wireless telephone service provider.--The term ``wireless telephone service provider'' means a telecommunications carrier that provides wireless telephone service. <all>
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