FCC, TracFone Reach Settlement: Provider Will Now Unlock Customers Phones’ Like They Said They Would

FCC, TracFone Reach Settlement: Provider Will Now Unlock Customers Phones’ Like They Said They Would

Unlocking your phone is legal, and the wireless industry agreed months ago to a set of conditions that went into effect earlier this year that allow consumers to do just that. Those companies all promised the FCC that they had a plan. And when you tell a federal agency that you have a plan, you probably actually should, and ought to follow it, too. One company didn’t, and that has landed them in some hot water with the commission. [More]

PayPal Tweaking User Agreement To Remove Mandatory Robocalls

PayPal Tweaking User Agreement To Remove Mandatory Robocalls

PayPal’s new user agreement — the one that gives the company even more latitude to make obnoxious prerecorded marketing calls to “any telephone number that you have provided us or that we have otherwise obtained” — is set to kick in this week, but following an FCC warning that this policy might be in violation of federal law, and a letter from multiple senators asking PayPal to rethink its new terms, the company has agreed to make changes that “clear up any confusion.” [More]

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler Promises No “Utility Style Regulation” Of Broadband

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler Promises No “Utility Style Regulation” Of Broadband

Two weeks ago, a federal appeals court denied the telecom and cable industry’s request to prevent the FCC’s new Open Internet Order (aka net neutrality) from going into effect, but the legal challenge to neutrality continues, with opponents claiming it will quell investment and result in stifling regulations. Today, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler spoke out publicly on these concerns. [More]

(JeepersMedia)

Sprint Stops Throttling Data Speeds As Net Neutrality Goes Into Effect

Net neutrality only became well and truly legal on June 12, and yet already the new rules are prompting change: Sprint stopped intermittently throttling data speeds for its heaviest wireless Internet users during busy times as of Friday, the same day the Federal Communications Commission’s net-neutrality rules went into effect. [More]

FCC Votes To Give Consumers The Right To Block Annoying Spam Robocalls And Texts

FCC Votes To Give Consumers The Right To Block Annoying Spam Robocalls And Texts

You hate getting robocalls. The FCC knows you hate getting robocalls. And so today the Commission voted to move forward with a proposal that would allow consumers to block all those annoying calls and texts. [More]

FCC Votes To Expand Lifeline To Broadband; Plans To Reduce Waste, Enhance Scrutiny

FCC Votes To Expand Lifeline To Broadband; Plans To Reduce Waste, Enhance Scrutiny

The FCC voted 3-2 today to expand the Lifeline program for low-income consumers to include an optional credit for broadband access. [More]

(jpghouse)

The FCC Is Considering A Big Change To Lifeline — But What Is It, And How Does It Work?

The FCC is going to be voting this week on a proposal to make a big change to one of their programs, Lifeline. The program — a subsidy that helps low-income consumers pay for phone service — may expand to help them pay for broadband, too. The topic is politically charged and coverage can be a bit confusing, so here’s a guide on what the FCC currently does with it and what they’re planning to do next. [More]

The First Complaint Of Net Neutrality Violation Is In, And It’s Against Time Warner Cable

The First Complaint Of Net Neutrality Violation Is In, And It’s Against Time Warner Cable

Net neutrality only went into effect last Friday, but the first formal complaint against an ISP for breaking the rule is already on its way. The target? Time Warner Cable. [More]

Senators Ask PayPal To Change Obnoxious RoboCall Clause In User Agreement

Senators Ask PayPal To Change Obnoxious RoboCall Clause In User Agreement

Two weeks ago, we told you how PayPal’s revised user agreement expanded the company’s already-intrusive existing permission to send pre-recorded robocalls and spam texts, and how the company gave users no apparent way to opt out. Then the FCC chimed in, telling the company that its terms appear to violate federal law. Now, several U.S. Senators are asking PayPal to rethink its terms before they go into effect on July 1. [More]

Is Your ISP Not Following Net Neutrality? The FCC’s Got A Complaint Form For That.

Is Your ISP Not Following Net Neutrality? The FCC’s Got A Complaint Form For That.

Hooray! Net neutrality is finally, well and truly, the law. The courts did not uphold industry groups’ requests to press pause on the implementation, and so as of right now, ISPs are common carriers under Title II and are not allowed to mess around with your connections. [More]

Appeals Court Won’t Hold Up Enforcement Of Net Neutrality Rules

Appeals Court Won’t Hold Up Enforcement Of Net Neutrality Rules

A number of lawsuits filed by telecom and cable companies and their associated trade groups in recent weeks had hoped that the court would block the FCC from enforcing the new net neutrality rules that are slated to kick in tomorrow, June 12. But with the clock ticking to reach that deadline, a federal appeals court has denied this request, meaning that the Open Internet Order will go into effect (at least until lawmakers do their best to de-fund it). [More]

FCC Says PayPal’s New User Agreement Violates Anti-Robocall Rules

FCC Says PayPal’s New User Agreement Violates Anti-Robocall Rules

We recently took a look at how PayPal’s already questionable user agreement is about to get even more invasive, giving the company a broader range of ways to contact customers with robocalls and spam texts, and with no apparent way to opt out. Today, the FCC notified PayPal that it has some concerns that the revised agreement might run afoul of federal laws. [More]

(inajeep)

Budget Proposal Seeks To Prevent FCC From Enforcing Net Neutrality

The latest attempt at net neutrality rules are slated to kick in later this week, but a federal budget proposal by the House Appropriations Committee would not only cut into the FCC’s resources, but prohibit the Commission from enforcing the new regulations, along with stripping its ability to regulate things like fees and data caps. [More]

(Tony Crescibene)

Net Neutrality Hasn’t Stopped Charter From Investing

In the heated lead-up to the FCC’s vote on new net neutrality rules, the cable and telecom industry repeatedly made claims that the new regulations would harm investment and curb innovation. But yet another top cable CEO is now saying that no, net neutrality isn’t having a negative effect on its network investments. [More]

AT&T Still Trying To Wriggle Out Of Federal Throttling Lawsuit

AT&T Still Trying To Wriggle Out Of Federal Throttling Lawsuit

Seven months after the Federal Trade Commission sued AT&T’s wireless division for allegedly misleading customers about “unlimited” data plans, and nearly two months after a judge denied AT&T’s attempt to dismiss the case, the Death Star is still trying to choke the government’s lawsuit into submission. [More]

FCC Proposes Giving Consumers Right To Block Telemarketing Calls & Texts

FCC Proposes Giving Consumers Right To Block Telemarketing Calls & Texts

You know what’s not awesome? Answering your phone only to be greeted by a prerecorded robocall telemarketing message. Even a decade after the establishment of the Do Not Call registry and rules banning certain types of robocalls, unwanted calls and messages still top the list of complaints to the FCC each year. Today, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler proposed closing some additional loopholes in order to cut down on these annoying intrusions. [More]

Why Charter Thinks Their Plan To Buy TWC Is Different Enough To Succeed Where Comcast Failed

Why Charter Thinks Their Plan To Buy TWC Is Different Enough To Succeed Where Comcast Failed

After months of rumors, this morning it became official: Charter plans to step in where Comcast failed, with a $55 billion plan to acquire Time Warner Cable. Regulators looked unfavorably on Comcast’s bid, finding it would have too many negative effects on consumers and on competition. But Charter clearly would not be trying its own takeover, with such a huge price tag, if they didn’t think they stood a good chance of success. So what makes the second offer so different from the first — and is it any more likely to succeed? [More]

Why Your Cable Company Doesn’t Always Know If Your New Address Gets Service

Pixel

There’s a story we hear far too often: someone is buying a house. Before they put any money down, they do their research. They call the local cable/Internet provider to make sure they can get broadband service at this new address. They double-check. They triple-check. They search the property for wires, call back, and make sure they’ll be okay. Then they take out the mortgage, move in, and… surprise! There’s no broadband service after all, there won’t be any, and now they’re up a very expensive creek. [More]