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New Rules Will Help All Wireless Customers

Even if you don't like regulators messing with telecom markets, if you're an enterprise user or buyer of wireless services, you should take some pleasure in last week's passing of consumers-rights regulations by the California Public Utilities Commission -- because ultimately what it means is that the days of carriers fudging wireless bills could be coming to an end.

You can safely ignore all the big-business blather about how such regulations will discourage businesses from moving to California; the potential market is simply too big to ignore. What the California PUC is saying, though, is that wireless service providers no longer will be able to write their own arcane rules to ensnare unwitting customers. For enterprise users, what that could mean is more transparency, more predictability, and better deals in the wireless contracts of the future.

It's all about competition, the same competition that has already laid bare the dubious need for wireless "plans" that arbitrarily parcel out "minutes" to customers. Like the simple one-price-for-all-calls plans that are now dominating the market, so will better billing and customer care become a necessity, going forward.

Sure, the California PUC had to prod the service providers into such action, but isn't that supposed to be its role? To look out for those who lack the resources to protect themselves? Let the providers whine and moan, and predict how the new regulations will increase fees because of added overhead. Fine. Keep complaining, and users will merely wait until one of your competitors figures out how to provide compliant services, at a cheaper price.