The companies that are taking funds from the Connect America Fund to extend rural broadband coverage.

Ten ISPs Sign On With FCC Fund, Will Expand Rural Broadband To Over 7M Customers In 45 States

While those of us who live in or near the country’s medium and large cities see slow but eventual improvements in broadband service and sometimes even some competition, the same is not true for millions of Americans who live in the more rural parts of the country. Running wires outside of the ‘burbs costs more money than it brings in, so carriers aren’t keen to do it without a boost. And that’s where the FCC’s Connect America fund comes in. [More]

Dish, Sinclair End Broadcast Network Blackout… For Now, At Least

Dish, Sinclair End Broadcast Network Blackout… For Now, At Least

Dish’s latest contract fight with the networks it airs has wrapped up much more quickly than usual: less than a day after nearly 130 Sinclair channels went dark on the satellite provider, the local channels are back on in 5 million subscribers’ homes. At least, for now. [More]

Hundreds Of Local Channels Go Dark For Millions Of Dish Subscribers In Latest TV Blackout Fight

Hundreds Of Local Channels Go Dark For Millions Of Dish Subscribers In Latest TV Blackout Fight

Dish Network subscribers may have a hard time getting their local news and weather today along with some of their favorite network programming. A contract dispute between the satellite TV company and one of the biggest network owners in the country has resulted in one of the biggest TV blackouts to date, with 5 million viewers losing access to nearly 130 channels. [More]

Why Don’t Huge Privacy Flaws Result In Recalled Smartphones?

吉姆 Jim Hofman

When a car has a major flaw, like a potentially lethal airbag, it gets recalled. Same for a coffeemaker, or a surfboard, or a prescription drug. But when that major flaw is in a product’s software — like a huge exploit that puts literally a billion consumers’ privacy and personal data at risk — there’s no universal process out there for remedying the situation. Do we need one? And if so, how can we get one? [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Company Fined $750K For Blocking WiFi Hotspots At Convention Centers

In Section 333 of the Communications Act, it states that “No person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference” with any licensed or authorized radio communications. But a company that provides Internet service for hotels and convention centers around the country has admitted to deliberately preventing people from using their own, legal hotspots to go online. [More]

FCC To Dish: No, You Are Not A Small Business, You May Not Use Small Business Discounts

FCC To Dish: No, You Are Not A Small Business, You May Not Use Small Business Discounts

The FCC has an auction process to sell spectrum to businesses. The FCC also is charged with promoting competition. So there’s a credit available to small businesses who play in the auction. But this week, the FCC has had to tell one behemoth that small means small, and that no amount of pretending otherwise will actually change that. [More]

FCC Proposes Rules To Reduce TV Blackouts, Potentially (But Probably Not) Lower Prices

FCC Proposes Rules To Reduce TV Blackouts, Potentially (But Probably Not) Lower Prices

The FCC has proposed a kind of arcane-sounding rule change that on the surface might not seem to affect consumers very much. But if all goes well, the rule will prove to be the kind of upstream change that prevents all the you-know-what from flowing on downhill to everyone else, and makes one of the most annoying things about cable TV into ancient history. [More]

Verizon Stops Throttling Data For Unlimited Wireless Data Plans, Doesn’t Tell Anyone

Verizon Stops Throttling Data For Unlimited Wireless Data Plans, Doesn’t Tell Anyone

For four years, Verizon has been throttling 3G data speeds for its few remaining “unlimited” data plan holders who dared try to take advantage of having access to supposedly unlimited data on their wireless devices. But earlier this summer, the nation’s largest wireless carrier quietly put an end to this supposed “network management,” but only because it has done such a good job of driving customers away from their unlimited plans. [More]

“Travel Club” Telemarketer Fined $2.96M For Robocalling Consumers

“Travel Club” Telemarketer Fined $2.96M For Robocalling Consumers

Whenever we tell readers that it’s important for them to file complaints when they receive illegal robocalls, some inevitably respond that they believe it’s pointless and nothing ever comes of their gripe. But today, the FCC announced a nearly $3 million fine against a robocalling telemarketer following complaints from consumers who took the time to speak up. [More]

The FCC Wants To Know How Mobile Data, Broadband Caps, And High Prices Shape Broadband Access

The FCC Wants To Know How Mobile Data, Broadband Caps, And High Prices Shape Broadband Access

It’s the FCC’s job to determine if broadband internet service is reaching enough people, quickly enough and competitively enough. To make that determination, every year they issue a report looking at the current state of broadband and how it’s changed. But broadband isn’t about wires anymore; it’s about wireless data and how quickly that moves (or doesn’t), too. And so the commission is considering a big change to their standards for the next go-around — one that would take a hard look at your cell service, too. [More]

FCC Adopts Rule Saying Your Phone Company Actually Has To Tell You Before They Kill Your Copper Landline

FCC Adopts Rule Saying Your Phone Company Actually Has To Tell You Before They Kill Your Copper Landline

The age of copper is over. Or at least, the nation’s biggest telephone legacy landline carriers really want it to be. And the FCC is okay with that — as long as companies stick to a few new consumer protection rules that the commission voted on today. [More]

Court Will Hear Arguments Against Net Neutrality In December

Court Will Hear Arguments Against Net Neutrality In December

Though the telecom and cable industry was unable to prevent new net neutrality rules from kicking in earlier this summer, the legal battle over the FCC’s authority to regulate broadband continues. A federal appeals court has agreed to hear arguments in the matter later this year. [More]

(Miss Conduct)

Company Caught Switching Customers’ Phone Service Without Permission

So your phone company calls you and says there’s a new plan that can save your on your phone bill, or maybe to let you know that you’re being overcharged for your current service. So you go ahead and switch to the more sensible plan, only to find out weeks later that you’ve actually been switched over to a new service provider you’ve never heard of — and to a plan that costs more than your old one. This was a reality for dozens of people who complained to the FCC about a Michigan-based company that now faces a potential $2.4 million fine. [More]

AT&T: $100M Fine For Throttling Unlimited Data Users Is “Unlawful,” “Coercive,” “Indefensible”

AT&T: $100M Fine For Throttling Unlimited Data Users Is “Unlawful,” “Coercive,” “Indefensible”

In June, the FCC proposed a potentially $100 million fine against AT&T for allegedly failing to disclose to its “unlimited” data plan subscribers the extent to which their data access could be throttled if they used too much of it in any given month. The company recently responded to the allegations, and let’s just say that AT&T isn’t exactly thrilled. [More]

It’s Official: FCC Gives Blessing To Marriage Of AT&T, DirecTV

It’s Official: FCC Gives Blessing To Marriage Of AT&T, DirecTV

After the announcement earlier this week that the FCC commissioners were reviewing and set to vote on deal that would grant regulatory approval to the merger of AT&T and DirecTV, the agency made it official this afternoon by giving its conditional blessing to this $49 billion marriage. [More]

45 Attorneys General Agree: Phone Companies Should Give Consumers Ability To Block Robocalls

45 Attorneys General Agree: Phone Companies Should Give Consumers Ability To Block Robocalls

While the FCC tries to allow consumers to take a more active role in which calls they do or don’t receive, a group of 45 state attorneys general (well, 44 states and the AG for the District of Columbia) are calling on the phone companies to just stop dilly dallying and start offering call-blocking services already. [More]

(Jess)

USDA Providing $85M In Grants & Loans To Support Rural Broadband

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture might not be the first federal agency that pops into your head when thinking about broaband Internet connectivity, but this week the USDA announced a total of $85 million in loans and grants that it hopes will help farmers and other rural Americans bridge the digital divide. [More]

T-Mobile On The Hook For $17.5M After Nationwide 9-1-1 Outage

T-Mobile On The Hook For $17.5M After Nationwide 9-1-1 Outage

How important is it that telephone companies provide constant access to 9-1-1 service? Americans make an average of more than 27,000 of these emergency calls an hour, so when a nationwide wireless provider is unable to connect its users to 9-1-1 for even a few hours, they can be on the hook for millions of dollars. [More]