The Big Crackdown

I noted with great interest that Chairman Pai is focusing on unwanted phone calls and messages, according to his Thanksgiving Day blog post.

But how much of what the chairman wants to do will actually get done? It doesn’t take more than being the customer of one of these big, monolithic wireless carriers to understand that they will do everything in their power to preserve the laissez-faire status quo (forgive the linguistic mashup). One way or another, whenever a call is made to a cell phone, somebody pays. The longer the call, the bigger the payment. (Fun fact: You know all the verbiage that precedes being able to leave a voicemail on the cell phone? That chews up your usage and that of the person being called.)

So now you have two powerful lobbies—the telecommunications industry and the telemarketing industry—lined up in opposition to the idea of prohibiting unsolicited cell phone calls and text messages. I leave it to the more politically-savvy among us to calculate the odds that such protection will ever be put in place, or if it is, that it will have any teeth at all.