What's New: More Txt Msgs 4 U?

Eight public-interest and consumer groups filed a petition with the FCC today requesting that mobile phone providers not be able to block text messages from political groups and advertisers. The petition, from Public Knowledge, the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, and other groups, comes after Verizon Wireless decided briefly in September to block text messages from an abortion-rights group, and Verizon and other carriers have blocked other mobile providers from sending text messages advertising cheaper services.

Verizon, by contrast, claims it already blocks between 100 million and 200 million text message ads (the time period wasn't clear). Other groups point out that in southeastern Asia many subscribers receive 20 or more unwanted text messages per day.

The petition seeks to preserve user and advertiser rights, and compares blocked text messages to phone companies arbitrarily blocking calls, but but seemingly fails to address the existence of the wildly popular Do Not Call list which many consumers use to opt out of unwanted phone calls.

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2007 03:49 pm CST

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