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GAO Urges Release of Cellular Data

May 06, 2003|From Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — Congressional investigators Monday called on the Federal Communications Commission to collect and publish data on the quality of service provided by wireless phone carriers.

The General Accounting Office, Congress' investigative arm, urged the FCC to include data on network coverage, dropped calls and other problems in its annual report on competition in the mobile-phone industry.

In a response to the GAO, FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell said the agency would include such information "to the extent possible." But he said the FCC is "concerned that call quality is not reliably measurable against consumer expectations."

Carriers say data on call quality would be difficult to interpret, the GAO reported.

A GAO survey of 1,000 people found that though 83% of users were satisfied with service quality, 61% had experienced dropped calls and 68% were unable to complete calls because of a "fast busy" signal, which indicates a network is routing calls at full capacity.

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