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Wireless group: Cell overages save money for consumers

WCAI didn't demand so much as a "thank you" for this service. Rather, it demanded the FCC abandon prospective regulations compelling wireless providers to alert consumers when they are about to surpass their monthly limits. 

The group, which includes AT&T, Google, Sprint, and Clearwire, among others, is more or less alone in publicly arguing that bill-shock requirements are anti-consumer. 

In contrast, other regulatory opponents have said the rules are unnecessary, providers are already provide sufficient information about overages and regulation would impose burdensome costs on carriers.

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WCAI went a step further by portraying overages as a consumer service rather than an effort by the wireless industry to recover the costs of its services. 

"The study finds that American consumers save between $882 million and $2.4 billion per year by effectively creating personalized price plans that combine set monthly fees with the occasional overage," WCAI's paper says.

The FCC is not proposing to eliminate overages. But it says consumers should have more notice about the fees. WCAI counters that such information would not help inform consumer decisions. Read study here.