Verizon Wireless is at it again. This time they’re removing their free service of cloud backup in favor of a paid service. Verizon, generally speaking, has the best phone network of the 4 providers. They’re also the most expensive of the four, consistently. Verizon also spends a lot of dollars lobbying the FCC and Congress to ensure that they get access to spectrum, immunity to oversight and other advantages that are generally bad for the consumer but very good for their record profits.

I’m not opposed to capitalism or making a profit, I’m a private business owner, but for anyone who has studied economics, they know that at some point the corporation grows so powerful that the free market is no longer a constraint to their power. Here in the United States, even though we do not practice a completely free market(nor should we), corporations wield a great deal of power relative to the regular consumer. This is the reason I am writing this today.

Verizon is the largest service in the United States and they are going to get larger. Behind them are AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Under the current administration, T-Mobile and Sprint are likely to merge, leaving us only 3 carriers to choose from. Verizon will directly influence the other two carriers in terms of pricing and offerings, competition will become even less than it already is. What’s more, in the next 5-10 years, your cellphone provider will also likely become your primary Internet provider, as their speeds will exceed anything offered by your cable and landline carriers. They will reach farther, be faster and offer more- all bundled into your bill. AT&T already owns DirecTV, and Verizon and Sprint are both shopping around right now. Your cell phone bill, which has already been getting more and more expensive, will continue to climb, especially as the competition becomes less able to compete.

But Dan, what about all those other guys like Straight Talk and such? Aren’t they competition? Guess what- they all buy service off of Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. They aren’t independent operators, they’re just re-branded services. At the end of the day, the pricing is all controlled by the big 3.

So what to do? Why should you care? Well, if you don’t start being more aware of what’s going on, it comes straight out of your wallet. More and more fees, more charges. More Money. And you won’t have any options and all your anger will fall on the ears of an increasingly deaf Congress. Hell, they’re mostly owned by the corporations already. So raise Hell now. Complain loudly and often online, to your provider and to your Congress Critters. Speak now. Not just about this, which is a negligible service that has been free for years, but also about their direct opposition to Net Neutrality, failure to follow through on previous provisioning agreements and their draconian attempts to prevent competition by using the law to prevent you from using your phone on other carriers, or vice versa.

In short, advocate for yourself. Now. Share this post, write your own, or, as is your right, do nothing at all. It’s only your pocketbook….