FMEver eager to jack up your cell phone bill, AT&T and other carriers have discouraged phone-makers from including FM radios. It’s one more way to make you a captive of their data plans.

But as reported in the Verge, this could change, now that AT&T might benefit financially from an alliance with NextRadio. Other U.S. carriers to follow?

Of course, the big question is why the carriers could get away with leaning on phone manufacturers to turn off FM chips in Android phones in the first place. I own a Chinese-made Huawei Mate 2 with FM capabilities (photo). Thank goodness the Huawei isn’t captive to a U.S. carrier.

Of course, if you really  want to look at this strategically, let’s think the same way we do about copyright. Thanks to massive campaign donations, big corporations like AT&T can exert too much control over our technology and our lives.

Campaign finance reform seems a long way from the issue of FM radios in cell phones, but in the end it isn’t.


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