Telecom Consumer Rights

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Presentation on case studies of international telecom consumer rights For talk at @CJ_Camp, Bangkok, Thailand, June 2009

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Telecom Consumer Rights

  1. Telecom Consumer Rights: Lesson from Other Countries Isriya Paireepairit <markpeak@gmail.com> June 2009 Original photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/robthetog/3206383684/
  2. Isriya Paireepairit markpeak@gmail.com
  3. "The cell phone industry ranks number one among all industries in consumer complaints filed” Richard Holober Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of California http://www.consumercal.org/article.php?id=203
  4. What is Telecom Industry ● Landline phone ● Mobile phone ● Internet (Dialup/ADSL) ● Mobile Broadband ● International Internet Gateway ● Cable TV ● Software? ● Computer Hardware?
  5. New Frontier? ● Online Game Service? ● Online Computing Service? ● Cloud Computing ● Online Application (e.g. Hotmail, Gmail) ● Online Backup ● Online Content (e.g. Newspaper Subscription) ● e-book Providers (e.g. Amazon Kindle) ● Social Networks (e.g. Facebook, Hi5)
  6. Issues ● Privacy ● Monopoly ● Telemarketing ● Censorship ● Pricing ● Internet Neutrality ● TOS ● Accessibility ● Service Contract ● Universal Service
  7. Case: Privacy ● Industry: Internet/Social Network
  8. Case: Privacy ● Profile Photos ● Only Friends can see
  9. Case Privacy ● Jan 08: 44,000 MySpace users were hacked. All photos published online http://www.blognone.com/node/6842 ● June 08: Facebook TopFriends application banned http://www.blognone.com/node/8179 ● July 08: Hundreds of O2 MMS Photo leaked http://www.blognone.com/node/8405
  10. Case: Privacy ● Dec 08: Stacy Snyder Case ● vs Millersville University of Pennsylvania ● student-teaching ● MySpace Party Photo (Drunken) ● No Degree ● Outcome: Case Dismissed ● http://www.blognone.com/node/9870
  11. Other Privacy Issues ● Street Map ● Google Street View/MapJack ● http://www.blognone.com/node/10775 ● http://www.blognone.com/node/8748 ● EFF's Top 12 Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy ● http://www.eff.org/wp/effs-top-12-ways-protect-your-online-privacy ● Google Health?
  12. Problems? http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-06-03-n48.html
  13. Case: Pricing ● Country: EU ● Industry: Mobile Phone (SMS) ● Date: 2008 ● Source: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/roaming/sms/index_en.htm
  14. Case: Pricing ● SMS is expensive ● Study (UK) ● Actual SMS Price: £374.49 per MB ● NASA-Hubble Price: £8.5 per MB ● Estimated Cost: £85 per MB ● http://www.blognone.com/node/7768 ● US Senator asked Operator for explanations ● http://www.blognone.com/node/8944
  15. Case: Pricing ● European Commissions (EC) proposal ● Approved by EU Telecom Ministers ● Limited price for SMS Roaming within EU ● Roaming SMS ● Previous: €0.29 / msg ● Now: €0.11 / msg ● Roaming GPRS ● Previous: €10 / MB ● Now: €1 / MB ● http://www.blognone.com/node/9827
  16. Case: Telemarketing ● Country: USA ● Industry: Phone/Mobile Phone ● Date: 2003 (USA) ● Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_National_Do_Not_Call_Registr y
  17. Case: Telemarketing ● USA: National Do Not Call Registry ● Start in 2003 ● Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007 ● Exceptions: Politics, Surveys, Charities ● https://www.donotcall.gov ● http://www.everycall.us/
  18. Case: Telemarketing ● Other Countries ● Canada: Canadian Do Not Call List (2004) https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca ● Australia: National Do Not Call Registry (2006) https://www.donotcall.gov.au/ ● UK: Telephone Preference Service (1999) http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/ ● New Zealand: Name Removal Service http://www.marketing.org.nz/
  19. Case: Service Contract ● Country: USA ● Industry: Mobile Phone ● Date: 2008 ● Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24764563/
  20. Case: Service Contract ● Now ● Consumer to quit current contract: pay $175 to operator ● Consumer can sue operator ● Proposed: ● Free to quit (within first 30 days, no refund) ● Consumer can't sue operator ● Status: Unknown
  21. Case: Monopoly ● Country: USA ● Industry: Telecom ● Date: 2008 (ongoing) ● Consumer Federation of California (CFC) Opposes Bill to Make Telecom Company Mergers Easier ● Source: http://www.consumercal.org/article.php?id=337
  22. Case: Monopoly ● AT&T ● Origin: 1877 by Alexander Graham Bell ● Found: 1885 ● Super-Monopoly ● 1974: Department of Justice filed Antitrust case ● 1982: AT&T broke up to 7 companies
  23. Case: Monopoly ● Microsoft ● (USA) 1998: Browser Monopoly ● (EU) 2003: Windows Media Player – €497M fine (2004) – €899M fine (2008) ● (South Korea) 2005: Windows Media Player, MSN Messenger – $32M fine Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Microsoft_competition_case http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/07/AR2005120700137.html
  24. Case: Censorship ● Country: Brazil ● Industry: Web ● Date: 2006-2007 ● Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniela_Cicarelli#Spanish_beach_video_scandal
  25. Daniela Cicarelli ● Brazilian Model ● Former Wife of Ronaldo
  26. ● 2006 video scandal in Spain ● Video uploaded to YouTube ● Brazil court ban YouTube ● Supreme Court reversed decision, unblock ● “Blocking YouTube can't prevent video spread”
  27. Case: Universal Service ● Universal Service ● “baseline level of services to every resident of a country” ● Telecom Industry
  28. Case: Universal Service ● USA ● US Telecommunications Act of 1996 ● to promote the availability of quality services at just, reasonable, and affordable rates ● to increase access to advanced telecommunications services throughout the Nation ● to advance the availability of such services to all consumers, including those in low income, rural, insular, and high cost areas at rates that are reasonably comparable to those charged in urban areas
  29. Case: Universal Service ● US: Universal Service Fund (USF) ● Budget from Telecom providers – Subsidize expensive telecom rate – Provide basic telecom for low-income – Provide cheap telecom for rural health-care, education – http://www.usac.org/about/universal-service ● UK: Universal Service Obligation (USO) ● India: Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) ● Chile: Telecommunications Development Fund (FDT)
  30. Consumer Telecom Right Groups ● Consumers Union / Consumer Reports http://www.consumerreports.org ● Consumer Federation of California: Telecom http://www.consumercal.org/article.php?list=type&type=17 ● Canada: The Public Interest Advocacy Center (PIAC) http://www.piac.ca ●
  31. Regulators ● Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ● Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) http://www.crtc.gc.ca ● European Parliament / European Commission http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/eyouguide/navigation/index_en.htm#
  32. Law ● USA: Cell Phone Consumer Empowerment Act of 2007 ● Goal: Operator must reveal more/easier service information ● Status: Introduced to Congress ● Info: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-2033
  33. Some Good Sign ● European Parliament to reform EU telecom rules ● To increase consumer protection, privacy, competition ● http://www.cdrinfo.com/sections/news/Details.aspx?NewsId=25286

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