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BACKDOOR DEREGULATION OF CELLULAR INDUSTRY DECRIED; CONSUMERS, SMALL BUSINESS BIG LOSERS, NCRA SAYS

 WASHINGTON, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Cellular Resellers Association today warned cellular telephone customers about a proposed amendment to the Licensing Improvement Act now being considered by Congress. The amendment, which preempts state regulation of wireless carriers, effectively deregulates this booming industry and leaves consumers with no recourse against non-competitive pricing practices of a few giant cellular companies years in advance of expected wireless competition, NCRA said.
 "This obscure amendment, attached to a popular revenue bill, is now being pushed through the Congress with virtually no hearings as to its far-reaching effects," NCRA Executive Director David Gusky said. "It's another case in which the public stands to lose without ever being aware of its stake in the issue. We question this untimely rush to create bad policy without a full and judicious review of the issues involved."
 With each cellular market already controlled by only two carriers, cellular reseller companies, which purchase services at wholesale rates and resell them to consumers at retail, offer the only competition in this enormously profitable industry.
 "By removing the states' traditional rights to regulate telephone services, consumers will have no local authority to turn to when cellular rates climb even higher," Gusky said. "The large carriers that already have a virtual monopoly will be able to capture every facet of our business, effectively forcing out the resellers who provide top quality service and economical retail prices to cellular telephone users."
 On behalf of NCRA, Gusky urged Congress not to amend the present bill in such a hasty manner and with so little consideration of the consequences.
 -0- 5/20/93
 /CONTACT: David Gusky of the National Cellular Resellers Association, 202-429-2014/


CO: National Cellular Resellers Association ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU: LEG

TW -- DC028 -- 0948 05/20/93 16:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 20, 1993
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