FCC Wants Cell Phone Companies to Warn You About Overages

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The Federal Communications Commission wants the big cell phone companies to let you know when you've talked, texted, or surfed too much. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is pushing hard for regulations that would address the issue of "bill shock," which many a teenager (and parent of a teenager) know all too well.

The wireless industry trade group, CTIA, has disputed the validity of the findings of a study that preceded Genachowski's new campaign.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is also scheduled to appear at an event in D.C. on Wednesday where he will discuss the commission's efforts to prevent "bill shock" and outline the findings of a new FCC white paper on the subject.

In May, the FCC announced that its consumer task force was examining the issue of "bill shock," or unexpected charges on a cell phone bill, and asked stakeholders to submit comments about it.

At the time, the FCC said it was considering a plan that would require carriers to send text messages when users are running up roaming charges or are close to hitting their data limit, a process that has been in use in the European Union since June 2009.

Read the full story at PC Mag.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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