(Credit: Rep. Anna Eshoo)
As reported by CNET News, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) who represents parts of Silicon Valley, has introduced the "Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act," which would require cellular carriers that offer 4G data services to provide consumers with accurate information about the minimum speed and reliability of the service.
An an interview, she said "consumers are really confused about what 4G really is," adding that "wireless companies right not throw around terms like 'lightening fast' and 'supercharged,' but their claims when examined closely don't always match up with reality." She said that the bill would "provide consumers with the information that they need to make a smart purchase including pricing, minimum speeds and reliability."
As CNET's Marguerite Reardon wrote last November, "There is no question that wireless operators are playing fast and loose with their marketing claims."
In a statement, CTIA Vice President Jot Carpenter said, "We are concerned that the bill proposes to add a new layer of regulation to a new and exciting set of services, while ignoring the fact that wireless is an inherently complex and dynamic environment in which network speeds can vary depending on a wide variety of factors."
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Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safety advocate. He's been writing and speaking about Internet safety since he wrote Internet safety guide "Child Safety on the Information Highway" in 1994. He is co-director of ConnectSafely.org, founder of SafeKids.com and SafeTeens.com, and a board member of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Larry's technology analysis and commentary can be heard on CBS News and CBS affiliates, and read on CBSNews.com. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. He also writes a personal-tech column for the San Jose Mercury News. You can e-mail Larry.