Ofcom, the British communications regulator, has forbidden wireless and broadband carriers in the country from offering contracts of more than two years. The move brings the UK into conformance with European telecom laws.
So here's a question: If it's good enough for them, why not for us?
No doubt a lot of readers are warry of government regulation — except maybe when it brings us more wireless competitors. But so far that competition hasn't stopped Bell, Rogers and Telus from continuing to offer highly discounted handsets IF you ink a three-year contract. There's a lot of evidence that these so-called deals aren't in the consumer's interest by the time they've paid $50 a month for 36 months for that $500 phone.
And the truth is, the carriers are tired of subsidizing handsets. At least one publicly-traded carrier has admitted that its quarerly results have been impaced by the discounts. The problem is none of the big three wants to blink. So I suspect they are quietly praying behind closed doors for a little regulation.