America's telcoms sector is hugely concentrated and corrupt, and systematically underinvests in maintenance and infrastructure even as it gouges customers, which it can get away with thanks to its monopoly power, leaving Americans with some of the world's worst, most expensive communications services.
Everyone who's communicated electronically in any way in the USA knows this, except, apparently, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer who has spent the years since Donald Trump appointed him to the chair dismantling what few consumer protections existed in the sector.
But reality has a well-known left wing bias, so when the FCC investigated the claims made by Verizon, T-Mbile and US Cellular about their 4G coverage, it discovered that they had lied to their regulator (again).
Rather than punishing his former employer, Pai took the principled decision to let them off the hook, opting instead to send all carriers a sternly worded memo reminding them that he could punish them for lying, if he wanted to.
And to ensure that this corporate ripoff of America got all the attention it deserved, Pai chose to announce the investigation's finding in the third paragraph of a press release about 5G (which is bullshit), in which he failed to mention any of the offending carriers by name.
FCC officials didn't voluntarily bring up the topic of whether Verizon, T-Mobile, and US Cellular will be punished for exaggerating coverage. But FCC officials confirmed that Pai does not intend to take enforcement action in response to a question from a reporter during the press call, and in response to a question from Ars via email.
But Pai does agree with all of the recommendations FCC staff made in their report, including the recommendation to issue an enforcement advisory to the industry, a senior FCC official said. While the FCC said it found no evidence of a violation of Mobility Fund rules, the commission has yet to determine whether carriers violated rules in the separate Form 477 data-collection program.
FCC tries to bury finding that Verizon and T-Mobile exaggerated 4G coverage [Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica]