A recent appeals court opinion is that the FCC does have the authority to make mobile carriers to enter into data roaming agreements.
Mobile phone carriers will be forced to use data roaming agreements with each other as per FCC regulations; according to a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. This ruling was in reference to the FCC’s April 2011 mandate forcing mobile carriers to offer their data roaming fees and services to competitors at a reasonable rate.
In may 2011, Verizon Wireless challenged the FCC mandate stating that the government agency was overstepping their authority by making any carrier impose any data roaming regulations.
While the Court’s ruling will stand for now, Verizon’s argument was a solid argument. Verizon argued that the FCC had no authority over regulating the Internet, which is what their mobile data is used for. The courts rejected Verizon’s arguments saying that the FCC does have ‘broad authority’ as per the telecommunication’s Act, which is to manage all wireless data in regards to the public’s needs or interests.
"This unanimous decision confirms the FCC's authority to promote broadband competition and protect broadband consumers,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowsk. "Our rules have empowered consumers and expanded their ability to enjoy the benefits of seamless and nationwide access to mobile data services, including wireless Internet and e-mail."