Click here to close now.


Symbian Authors: Jack Newton, Kevin Benedict, Matthew Lobas, Shelly Palmer, RealWire News Distribution

News Feed Item

California Leaders and Consumer Activists Call upon CPUC for Greater Oversight and Accountability of Industry Practices and Mergers

Legislation will aim at protecting working families from predatory practices

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today at the steps of the California State Capitol, Senator Kevin De Leon, Senator Ricardo Lara, Assemblymember Luis Alejo, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, Assemblymember Das Williams, and representatives from TURN and Consumer Federation of California joined the leaders of the movement – Two Counties One Voice – by calling for more government oversight on mergers that could harm millions of underserved Californians.  Two Countries One Voice is dedicated to exposing the predatory, monopolistic practices of Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world.  Recently, Slim zeroed in on California when one of his telecommunications' companies, TracFone, acquired California-based Simple Mobile without any public hearings or review by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  Prepaid mobile providers like TracFone and Simple Mobile largely serve immigrant and working families. 

TracFone currently has a pre-paid cellular customer base that is larger than that of Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile's.  Now, with the acquisition of Simple Mobile, TracFone has 22 million customers nationwide – over 42 percent of the pre-paid cell phone market share – making it the LARGEST prepaid mobile provider.  

"Carlos Slim is taking the model he created in Mexico that was built on the backs of the poor, charging excessively high prices and providing inadequate services, and he's expanding that model into California, the U.S., and across Latin America," said Juan Jose Gutierrez, one of the leaders of Two Countries One Voice and the President of Vamos Unidos USA.  "We're here today to shine a glaring light on the damage that such practices have on a country and its people.  We demand more oversight and protection here in California."

Senator Kevin De Leon and Senator Ricardo Lara wrote a letter to CPUC Chairman Michael Peevey calling for action and a full investigation during CPUC's upcoming evidentiary hearings from December 12-14, 2012.  Senators De Leon and Lara also announced they will be introducing legislation that will better protect working families by ensuring the CPUC has the authority and discretion to review all mergers – including pre-paid cell phone services – when it's in the best interest of the public.  

"As we become more reliant on cell phones and digital technology for every day life, we need to ensure that all consumers – especially underserved communities – are protected," said Senator De Leon.  "Our legislation is aimed at providing better protections for working families by requiring proper government oversight and rigorous review by the CPUC."

"We will not stand by quietly while hard-working Californians spend their honest-earned money on excessive charges associated with something that most of us take for granted: making a simple phone call," said Senator Ricardo Lara.  

When TracFone purchased Simple Mobile in June 2012, the CPUC did not require hearings or scrutiny of Slim's acquisition.  The current law does not require the CPUC to hold hearings on all mergers and is prescriptive as to when the CPUC may deem additional hearings necessary in the public interest.

In the United States, Slim has four million TracFone customers participating in government phone assistance programs.  Slim has collected $10 per phone he provides to these consumers, totaling a minimum of $38 million in U.S. federal subsidies this year aloneYet, TracFone refuses pay its share of the public services fee that funds California's programs for the poor.  By some conservative estimates, TracFone may be liable for $13 million in unpaid fees and additional penalties to the CPUC

"We have been watching Carlos Slim gobble up company after company – growing his empire at the expense of struggling families" said Andres Ramirez, one of the leaders of Two Countries One Voice.  "And today, we are joined by others who see this injustice and are committed to speaking up for those without a voice."

"It is important that we empower the CPUC to hold public hearings and engage in rigorous reviews of mergers that may impact consumers' rates and access to reliable services," said Richard Holober, Executive Director of Consumer Federation of California.  "Especially with companies with questionable customer service records, we must ensure our government provides protections to underserved communities with less access to digital services."

BACKGROUND:  Carlos Slim's power and fortune is made up primarily from his monopoly on the Mexican telecommunications system.  According to the independent and highly respected Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Slim's company, America Movil, which controls nearly 80 percent of the total Mexican telecom, cell and internet industries, charges exorbitant prices and provides inadequate services.  Their report also shows that Slim has price-gouged Mexican customers billions of dollars for basic telephone and Internet service.  They point out that those specifically and most profoundly affected by these business practices are rural and poor communities.

The impact of Carlos Slim's monopoly has resulted in Mexico ranking LAST in public investment in telecommunications compared with the 33 other OECD countries while Slim's company Telemex had a profit margin of 47 percent – one of the highest profit margins of companies within the OECD countries.

SOURCE Two Countries One Voice

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
This week, the team assembled in NYC for @Cloud Expo 2015 and @ThingsExpo 2015. For the past four years, this has been a must-attend event for MetraTech. We were happy to once again join industry visionaries, colleagues, customers and even competitors to share and explore the ways in which the Internet of Things (IoT) will impact our industry. Over the course of the show, we discussed the types of challenges we will collectively need to solve to capitalize on the opportunity IoT presents.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in high-performance, high-efficiency server, storage technology and green computing, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and Embedded Systems worldwide. Supermi...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target - this makes the integration of these separate pipelines and the coordination of software upd...
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll share tips on how to speed up business initiatives, harness Big Data and remain one step ahead by apply...
There will be 20 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet soon. What if we could control these devices with our voice, mind, or gestures? What if we could teach these devices how to talk to each other? What if these devices could learn how to interact with us (and each other) to make our lives better? What if Jarvis was real? How can I gain these super powers? In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, will show you!
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi's VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context w...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, will explore the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, will keynote at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete end-to-end walkthrough of the analysis from start to finish. Participants will also be given the pract...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
Electric power utilities face relentless pressure on their financial performance, and reducing distribution grid losses is one of the last untapped opportunities to meet their business goals. Combining IoT-enabled sensors and cloud-based data analytics, utilities now are able to find, quantify and reduce losses faster – and with a smaller IT footprint. Solutions exist using Internet-enabled sensors deployed temporarily at strategic locations within the distribution grid to measure actual line loads.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.