FCC To Propose New “Hybrid” Approach To Net Neutrality

FCC To Propose New “Hybrid” Approach To Net Neutrality

The FCC proposed their new, “fast lane” net neutrality rule back in May. Since then pretty much everyone — from Congress to 3 million regular people, to members of the FCC — has objected in one way or another. And now it looks like FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is going to revise the plan. [More]

Why AT&T Is Being Sued Over Data Throttling But Verizon Isn’t (Yet)

Why AT&T Is Being Sued Over Data Throttling But Verizon Isn’t (Yet)

The glory days of unlimited mobile data plans are long behind us. For years, even the owners of “unlimited” plans have been subject to mysterious and inconsistent limits from their mobile providers. Yesterday, the poorly communicated limits of unlimited data became the core issue of a large lawsuit the FTC filed against AT&T. It’s the first time the agency has tackled data throttling at all, but if many companies are doing it, why target AT&T and not everyone else? [More]

(Great Beyond)

FCC Pauses Review Of Both Media Mega-Mergers Because Content Companies Won’t Share Confidential Info

The slowly-turning wheel of the approvals process for two big media mergers has temporarily ground to a halt, as the FCC today announced delays in their reviews of both AT&T’s planned acquisition of DirecTV and also the Comcast/Time Warner Cable union. The delays in both proceedings stem from the same core issue: media content companies who don’t want their rivals to learn their secrets. [More]

Aereo To FCC: No, Really, We’re A Cable Company Now. Treat Us Like One, Pretty Please?

Aereo To FCC: No, Really, We’re A Cable Company Now. Treat Us Like One, Pretty Please?


Streaming broadcast TV service Aereo was unceremoniously shut down by the Supreme Court last spring, but although they suspended all operations it wasn’t entirely the end of their business. Either Aereo or the law would have to change in order to get them beaming TV around again. Since the relevant law is immovable in the current political climate, that leaves change on Aereo’s end. But the last two attempts Aereo’s made haven’t ended well for them. Is the third time the charm? [More]

AT&T To Pay $105 Million To Settle Wireless Bill-Cramming Charges

(Mike Mozart)

In a few minutes, the Federal Trade Commission, the FCC and attorneys general from 50 states and the District of Columbia will announce a $105 million deal with AT&T that settles allegations that the company has profited off the practice known as “bill-cramming,” third-party charges illegally placed on customers’ wireless bills without authorization. [More]

Employees at Marriott's Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center were using the hotel's WiFi monitoring system to block visitors' access to personal WiFi networks, while charging convention exhibitors up to $1,000 per device for access to the Marriott WiFi network.

Marriott Fined $600K Because It’s Illegal To Block WiFi Hotspots

When a major hotel chain makes money by charging a fee for in-room Internet service, it might be tempted to do something that makes it difficult for visitors to use their own WiFi hotspots so that they have little choice but to pay up for the hotel’s Web access. Thing is, that’s against the law. [More]

(frankieleon)

Senators: NFL Could Lose Tax Breaks, Antitrust Exemption If Blackouts Continue

Earlier this week, the FCC voted unanimously to repeal its 39-year-old Sports Blackout Rule, which that prevented the broadcasting of certain sporting events if they weren’t sold out. While that decision removes federal involvement in blackouts, the pro sports leagues may still negotiate private blackout deals with broadcasters. However, a pair of prominent U.S. Senators have warned the NFL to not go that route. [More]

Verizon Realizes Throttling LTE Users Is A Stupid, Stupid Idea; Decides Not To

Verizon Realizes Throttling LTE Users Is A Stupid, Stupid Idea; Decides Not To

Back in July, Verizon Wireless ticked off its few remaining unlimited data subscribers and caught the unwanted attention of the FCC Chairman, when it announced that it would begin throttling data speeds for its users with the highest level of wireless broadband consumption under the guise of “network optimization.” That plan was supposed to kick in this morning, but Verizon has decided that maybe it’s not such a good idea. [More]

((april))

FCC Repeals Sports Blackout Rule, But Blackouts Will Continue

Calling the NFL on its bluff to move its broadcast games to cable, the FCC voted unanimously this morning to repeal the outdated sports blackout rule that prevented the airing of certain games that weren’t sold out. Though it doesn’t mean the end of blackouts. [More]

(frankieleon)

Media Companies Afraid To Show FCC Their Comcast Contracts Because Rivals Might Learn Their Secrets

It’s no secret that media companies are pretty worried about the repercussions of letting Comcast and Time Warner Cable merge. But what is a big secret are the agreements that those companies have with Comcast and TWC right now. They’re so secret, in fact, that networks are refusing to share any data with the FCC because they’re afraid their rivals might benefit from it. And that’s a problem, because without that data, the FCC is missing one of the key tools it should have in its toolbox as it evaluates the merger. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

AT&T, Where “Congestion” & Data Caps Only Apply To Existing Users

Ever since AT&T and Verizon got rid of unlimited wireless plans, both companies have used the questionable excuse of “congestion,” claiming that throttling data after remaining unlimited users pass an arbitrary threshold was necessary to keep data flowing. But in plans announced over the weekend, AT&T is effectively once again offering unlimited data (for a limited time) to new customers, which makes one wonder — what happened to all that congestion? [More]

Lawmakers: Phone Calls On Planes Are Unsafe Because People Will Have Fights

Lawmakers: Phone Calls On Planes Are Unsafe Because People Will Have Fights

Flying is painful enough as it is. Between arduous lines at security and ever-shrinking legroom, passengers are already plenty on-edge. Adding cell phone chatter to an already-tense high-altitude situation could be a recipe for disaster, and 77 members of Congress agree. [More]

Newest Critics Of FCC’s Net Neutrality Plan: The FCC Commissioners Who Voted For It

Newest Critics Of FCC’s Net Neutrality Plan: The FCC Commissioners Who Voted For It

The controversial and problematic current suggestion for net neutrality — a two-tiered, “fast lane” approach to the rule — was approved in the FCC in May on a 3-2, strict party-line vote. Since then, however, the proposal has gotten seemingly more unpopular by the day. Congress hates it. The internet hates it. Nearly all of the record-smashing 3.7 million comments to the FCC hate it. But the newest, and most meaningful, opposition might have just popped up from an unexpected source: two of the three FCC commissioners who voted for it. [More]

(frankieleon)

FCC Chair: Current Definition Of Broadband Isn’t Fast Enough

The FCC’s current definition of “broadband” Internet is 4Mbps downstream and only 1Mbps up. These were adequate speeds in a world where you occasionally watched a grainy YouTube video, but they don’t reflect the needs or uses of most consumers, and those benchmarks are only going to grow more irrelevant with each passing day. FCC Chair Tom Wheeler admitted as much to Congress yesterday. [More]

Dodgers Fans In L.A. May Get To Watch Team On TV This Season

Dodgers Fans In L.A. May Get To Watch Team On TV This Season

It’s no secret that Time Warner Cable hates Dodgers fans. If they liked them, the cable company would figure out a way that more than 30% of people in L.A. could actually watch the games on TV. But with the team doing so well right now (and, more importantly, with regulators in D.C. asking questions about how the Dodgers disaster relates to the Comcast merger), TWC has decided that the final few games of the season will be available to anyone with an antenna. [More]

3 Million Comments And Counting: The Final Public Comment Period On Net Neutrality Ends Tonight

3 Million Comments And Counting: The Final Public Comment Period On Net Neutrality Ends Tonight

The chance for the public — individuals, consumer advocates, and businesses alike — to have their say on the FCC’s proposed net neutrality rule is finally coming to an end. In the four months of the various comment periods being open, the FCC has received over 3 million comments so far, with more pouring in by the minute. But the finish line is near: the deadline on the reply period ends, for real, at midnight tonight. [More]

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The Internet Speaks Up: FCC’s Fast Lane Proposal Would Be “A Cluster f**k Worse Than Comcast’s Customer Service”

It’s been a long road since an appeals court threw out the FCC’s Open Internet Rule — the one most of us call net neutrality — back in January. The FCC proposed a replacement rule in May, but there’s one small snag: it’s terrible. The proposal currently on the table would allow large ISPs to charge businesses for prioritized access, effectively splitting the internet into fast and slow lanes and choosing for consumers what sites and services they can best access. With the for-really-reals final deadline for the public to have its say fast approaching, today a large swath of the internet is speaking up for net neutrality and asking their visitors and customers to do the same. [More]

Netflix Speeds Finally Rebound For FiOS, U-Verse Customers

Netflix Speeds Finally Rebound For FiOS, U-Verse Customers

For years, Verizon has bragged about the fast data speeds available to subscribers of its FiOS broadband service. Meanwhile, the company was allowing Netflix streams to bottleneck, resulting in real downstream speeds that were slower than some DSL providers. And even months after Netflix agreed to pay Verizon for better access to its network, the speeds didn’t improve — until now. [More]