BREAKING: In a party-line vote, the Federal Communications Commission took steps Thursday to ensure that mobile customers can access the Internet wherever they go -- even when they leave their providers' service areas.
Under new "data roaming" rules adopted by the agency's three Democratic regulators, national carriers such as AT&T and Verizon must negotiate data roaming agreements with competitors on a timely basis, and under "commercially reasonable terms and conditions."
The agency's two Republican commissioners voted against the proposal, arguing that the FCC lacks the legal authority to implement it. Nevertheless, they encouraged wireless carriers to enter into data roaming agreements on their own, and without government involvement.
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