updated 04:10 pm EDT, Thu July 23, 2009
Verizon roaming agreements
Verizon indicated in a letter that it would make a compromise on roaming service agreements with smaller wireless providers by allowing them to use its network in areas where they lack network coverage but own wireless airwaves, according to a Wednesday report. While there is no current law requirement to this end, Verizon is pre-empting an upcoming regulatory change. Current roaming regulations put smaller providers at a disadvantage, which is why the government is eyeing a rule change.
Verizon would allow rival providers to use its network for a maximum of two years, or three years under special circumstances. Still, provider Leap Wireless is not entirely happy about Verizon's proposal, with Leap's director of government affairs, Laurie Itkin, stating roaming agreements that impose time limits are not good enough.
"Verizon itself has relied on roaming agreements for over two decades as it built out its network and acquired competitors, but now has unilaterally decided that its remaining competitors are only entitled to roaming for two or three years," she wrote in an e-mail.