U students happy with FCC cell phone ruling

Angela Delmedico

Beginning Nov. 24, consumers will have the choice of switching cell phone companies while keeping their current phone numbers.

The Federal Communications Commission decided Nov. 10 to allow consumers to keep their phone numbers if they choose to switch cell phone companies within the same geographical area. Those who want to eliminate their home phone altogether can also switch their land line number to a cell phone.

Students said they are happy with the change, which will allow them to save money and avoid hassles.

“I think it’s very useful because most people give out their cell phone numbers,” mechanical engineering sophomore Michael Klasen said. Klasen said he and his roommates rarely use their home phone.

Although English and urban studies student Electra Rich said she would never give up her land line phone, she said keeping the same number when switching cell phone service providers will be more convenient.

U Wireless owner Young Chong said students change phone companies based on the company reputation, service and cost, and will now be less inhibited from changing companies.

“I’ve seen a lot of people who wanted to switch but didn’t because they didn’t want to change their phone number,” Chong said.

Chong said increased competitiveness might help students find a better deal.

FCC Chairman Michael Powell said in a prepared statement that the action will offer significant benefits to phone customers by increasing the market’s competitiveness.

“By firmly endorsing a customer’s right to untether themselves from the wireline network – and take their telephone number with them – we act to eliminate impediments to competition between wireline and wireless services,” Powell said in the statement.

The recent FCC decision comes little more than a month after the Federal Trade Commission’s national do-not-call registry was implemented to allow

consumers to ban telemarketers from calling their home phone numbers.