Cable industry commends data-roaming proposal

The cable industry commended an action by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday that will require Verizon and AT&T to enter data-roaming agreements with smaller carriers. 

Comcast and The National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) issued separate statements praising the plan. 

Dave Cohen, executive vice president at Comcast, said automatic data-roaming policies will help spread broadband to virtually all Americans, a goal of the Obama administration. 

"To compete effectively in the wireless space, new entrants must be able to provide nationwide service from the start, and roaming will be a critical component of that ability. And sensible data roaming policies will catalyze further investment in mobile broadband networks, helping to bring us closer to President Obama's vision for reaching 98 percent of Americans with high-speed wireless networks," he said. 

NCTA executive vice president James Assey said: "Adopting enforceable data roaming rights will enable new entrants to compete on a nationwide basis and give consumers more choice and flexibility in wireless services."

As FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski unveiled his plan on Thursday, he said Verizon and AT&T were the only two voices to object to mandatory data-roaming rules during the comment process.