STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI
Wireless Carrier Usage Alerts to Prevent Bill Shock
(October 17, 2012)
I applaud the wireless industry’s efforts to give consumers more information about their
use of communications services. Transparency is a good thing, and when armed with more data,
consumers can make better choices for themselves and their families.
Going forward, I hope that service providers will not confine themselves to a rigid, one-
size-fits-all approach to this issue. Our experience over the past 20 years shows that innovation
defines the mobile space. If that proves to be the case here, carriers will continue to develop new
and better ways for customers to monitor both the services they are using and the charges they
are incurring. We should welcome such innovation and make sure that we don’t stand in its way.
Finally, I also hope that the Commission will continue its hands-off policy when it comes
to usage-based pricing in the wireless world. Most of us know and accept that the more we
consume, the more we pay. If you use more electricity or water at your home, your bill will go
up. If you order more food at a restaurant, you will be charged more. The more clothes you buy
at the department store, the more money you will have to fork over. The government can’t
interfere with this fundamental tenet of our free-market economy without unintended and
unpleasant results, and we should be clear that the FCC will not travel down that path.