(Mr.TinDC)

Comcast-Connected “Grassroots” Effort Claims Set-Top Box Competition Will Harm Diversity

With the FCC prepping to vote on new rules that aim to break up cable companies’ monopolies on set-top boxes, the pay-TV industry is fighting back with an astroturfing campaign that tries to make the case that having more choices in set-top boxes will somehow harm diversity in TV programming. [More]

(Sh4rp_i)

Senators Ask Why Cable Companies Continue Charging Customers For Modems They Don’t Have

We regularly hear from readers that their cable company — often Comcast — is charging them rental fees for equipment they either never owned or have already returned. A group of six U.S. lawmakers are calling on the FCC to look into this problem of consumers who face fees for phantom modems and other devices. [More]

frankieleon

4 Reasons Tribal Lands Lack Better Access To The Internet

According to the latest data from the FCC, more than two-thirds of people living in rural tribal lands currently lack access to decent Internet, nearly 30 percentage points higher than the rate for the rest of rural America. So what is it about these tribal lands that makes connecting so difficult? [More]

Stanford Law Professor: T-Mobile’s ‘Binge On’ Violates Net Neutrality Rules

Stanford Law Professor: T-Mobile’s ‘Binge On’ Violates Net Neutrality Rules

Last fall, T-Mobile introduced Binge On, an optional program that lets users stream certain video streams without counting the data against their monthly allotments. YouTube and others have accused the company of throttling data in order to make this happen, and a new report from Stanford University claims that T-Mo’s actions are in violation of federal “net neutrality” rules. [More]

(knittinandnoodlin)

In Comcast Country, Set-Top Box Competition Will Hurt Innovation, Raise Prices

Earlier this week, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler proposed new rules intended to increase competition in the pay-TV set-top box market. Rather than paying hundreds of dollars a year to your cable company for a device you can’t get anywhere else, the idea is that you would be able to buy your own box and save money in the long run. Amazing, Comcast — which stands to potentially lose billions of dollars if this happens — is crying foul. [More]

(ryusaisei)

How The FCC Hopes To Make Set-Top Boxes More Affordable

As expected, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has proposed new rules intended to make the set-top box market more competitive and offer consumers more choices. Now we have some details on how he hopes to actually accomplish this goal. [More]

FCC Expected To Require More Choices For Cable Set-Top Boxes

FCC Expected To Require More Choices For Cable Set-Top Boxes

UPDATE: FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has released some details on how he believes the set-top box market can be more consumer-friendly. [More]

Groups Ask FCC To Reform Set-Top Box Market, Say New Rules Could Save Consumers Billions Every Year

Groups Ask FCC To Reform Set-Top Box Market, Say New Rules Could Save Consumers Billions Every Year

While the cable industry hasn’t fessed up to how much it makes leasing set-top boxes to their customers, in July, lawmakers crunched some numbers and found that it could be a $20 billion industry, with consumers paying up to $232 every year on that equipment. Two advocacy groups are now asking the Federal Communications Commission to begin a rulemaking proceeding to reform the video set-top box market, saying cable and pay-TV companies are overcharging consumers by $6 billion to $14 billion annually. [More]

Verizon Finally Catches Up To T-Mobile, AT&T; Launches Program To Free Up More Data For Mobile Subscribers

Verizon Finally Catches Up To T-Mobile, AT&T; Launches Program To Free Up More Data For Mobile Subscribers

Last month, executives with Verizon said the company would one day test sponsored data. That day is apparently today, as the largest wireless provider in the U.S. launched FreeBee Data, its version of T-Mobile and AT&T’s programs that don’t ding users’ data plans when they access certain content. [More]

(PepOmint)

FCC Chair: 39% Of Rural America Lacks Broadband Access

If you live in the city, it’s almost a certainty that your property can get high-speed Internet access from at least one company. But for rural America, it’s a different story, with nearly 4-in-10 people lacking access to fixed-line broadband service. [More]

T-Mobile Execs Say YouTube Is “Absurd” For Complaining About Downgraded Video Quality

T-Mobile Execs Say YouTube Is “Absurd” For Complaining About Downgraded Video Quality

The war of words between T-Mobile and YouTube continues, with executives from the wireless company claiming it’s “absurd” that the streaming service should care so much about T-Mo downgrading the quality of YouTube videos. [More]

FCC: Cable Internet Is Getting Faster, But DSL & Satellite Still Likely To Miss The Mark

FCC: Cable Internet Is Getting Faster, But DSL & Satellite Still Likely To Miss The Mark

The FCC’s job — well, one of the FCC’s jobs — is to make sure that everyone has access to decent broadband connections. You can’t understand what you can’t measure, though, so as part of that, the commission has to measure just how broadband is holding up. They issue a report, called Measuring Broadband America, roughly once a year to share their findings. The new one, the fifth, has just been released and while there’s still a lot of room for improvement, on the whole it seems to be a high note on which to end the year. [More]

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler speaking in 2014. (FCC)

FCC Wants AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile To Explain Why Their Plans That Exempt Stuff From Data Caps Are OK

There are two big trends in data and streaming. The first is data caps, which limit how much bandwidth you can use in a month without paying extra. The other is zero-rating, where certain video services come to an arrangement with carriers to be exempt from those data caps. In theory, it’s a win for everyone: consumers, carriers, and streaming companies. But nobody, including the FCC, is quite sure if it’s actually, y’know, legal. [More]

More Than 13,000 Comcast Customers Have Complained To FCC About Data Caps

More Than 13,000 Comcast Customers Have Complained To FCC About Data Caps

For the last few years, Comcast has been testing out data caps in a small number of markets, charging customers for exceeding their monthly allotment of 300GB (or offering them the chance to pay even more money for “Unlimited” access). More recently, the nation’s biggest cable company began expanding the number of data cap markets, and a new report shows that these new limitations have not gone over well with Comcast customers. [More]

CenturyLink customers joined Consumers Union's End Robocalls team this morning to deliver a petition to the CL offices in Phoenix.

More Than 500,000 People Ask CenturyLink To Help End Robocalls

Even though the FCC has said that landline operators can offer robocall-blocking technology to their customers, many of them have so far chosen to not do so. That’s why our colleagues at Consumers Union hand-delivered a petition with more than 500,000 signatures to CenturyLink this morning, hoping to drive home how fed-up consumers are with these unwanted interruptions. [More]

Kickstarter, Tumblr, Etsy, Others Ask Lawmakers To Not Use Budget To Ruin Net Neutrality

Kickstarter, Tumblr, Etsy, Others Ask Lawmakers To Not Use Budget To Ruin Net Neutrality

While the telecom industry is fighting the bad fight against net neutrality through the legal system — the way such matters are supposed to be handled — some in Congress want to ruin the FCC’s Open Internet Order by using good ol’ fashioned pork-barrel politics, slapping riders that will undercut the pro-consumer regulation onto the omnibus budget bill now being compiled on Capitol Hill. [More]

Verizon To Follow Lead Of AT&T, T-Mobile; Try Some Sort Of Sponsored Data

Verizon To Follow Lead Of AT&T, T-Mobile; Try Some Sort Of Sponsored Data

The largest wireless provider in the U.S. has also been one of the least innovative in terms of its pricing. Its Chief Financial Officer even said earlier this year that “We’re a leader, not a follower.” And yet, Big V is just beginning to dip its toes into an idea that its competition has been swimming in for quite some time. [More]

(Mike Cook Foto)

Net Neutrality Opponents, FCC Get Their Long-Awaited Day To Argue In Court

We all knew from the moment that the FCC voted to reclassify broadband and protect the open internet back in February that ISPs would file every suit they could think of to kill the rule off again, as thoroughly as could be. The suits were formally filed back in April, but the wheels of justice and government roll at something of a slow grind and so the oral arguments in the case were finally heard today. [More]