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Verizon Wireless fights for the little guy again, poses ammendment to roaming laws

Zach Epstein
July 23rd, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Well isn’t Big Red just the Robin Hood of US carriers… First Verizon announced a new policy where handset exclusivity is concerned — promising small carriers with 500,000 subscribers or less would have access to VZW-exclusive handsets six months after launch — and now the carrier is posing an amendment to roaming agreement laws. This time around, Verizon Wireless sent a letter to several senators recommending that large carriers should be required by law to enter into roaming contracts with smaller carriers in areas where they do not currently have coverage. These contracts should have minimum durations of two years, says Verizon, in order to give said small carriers time to build out their own networks. Awwee, sharing is caring. As generous as Verizon thinks its proposition is, at least one small carrier doesn’t exactly concur. Laurie Itkin, Leap Wireless’ director of government affairs, had this to say:

Verizon itself has relied on roaming agreements for over two decades as it built out its network and acquired competitors, but now has unilaterally decided that its remaining competitors are only entitled to roaming for two or three years.

You know what they say… Give ’em an inch and they take a mile. Truth be told of course, expecting a tiny carrier to build out a massive network in two years is a bit on the ridiculous side. Then again, considering there is currently no law covering this type of agreement, something may be better than nothing.


Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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