Lawmakers Wade Into Fight Over FCC Chair’s Potential Plan To Overturn Bans On Municipal Broadband

Lawmakers Wade Into Fight Over FCC Chair’s Potential Plan To Overturn Bans On Municipal Broadband

Not very much happens in Washington, D.C. in August. But even as the city slows down, FCC chair Tom Wheeler continues to make strong noises about using the FCC’s authority to preempt state laws that prohibit the expansion or creation of municipal broadband utilities. And now, some members of Congress are joining him. [More]

Netflix Is Also Paying A Toll To Time Warner Cable To Improve Speeds To Users

The latest Netflix speed data shows that TWC downstream speeds improved after it quietly reached a paid-peering deal with Netflix in June. Meanwhile, FiOS still sucks, in spite of its peering arrangement with Netflix.

Months after Comcast and Verizon allowed Netflix data to bottleneck so badly that the streaming video company had no other option but to pay for a more direct connection to end-users, Time Warner Cable has confirmed that it too is now collecting a toll from Netflix. [More]

3 Myths Comcast Is Telling The FCC About TWC Merger

(Kevin Burkett)

Comcast has been justifiably criticized for blatantly trying to curry favor with the FCC by trying to spend $110,000 to sponsor a fundraiser honoring FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, but while the Kabletown Krew shrugged off those allegations, Comcast EVP David “The Merger Whisperer” Cohen was meeting with the FCC to push the company’s slate of semi-truths about its pending acquisition of Time Warner Cable. [More]

Comcast Decides To Not Spend $110K On Party For FCC Commissioner

Comcast Decides To Not Spend $110K On Party For FCC Commissioner

Comcast — no stranger to lining the pockets of those who can help the company get what it wants (or rewarding them afterward with high-paying jobs) — was befuddled earlier this week when it and Time Warner Cable were heavily criticized for plunking down a total of $132,000 to sponsor a dinner honoring FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn… who just happens to be in the process of reviewing the two companies’ pending merger. Realizing that maybe this might look like something just short of bribery, the cable giants have decided to pull their money — sort of. [More]

Verizon’s “All Kids Do It” Excuse For Throttling Isn’t Good Enough For FCC Chair

(Scott Lynch)

First, Verizon announced it would start throttling LTE users who devour the most data, but only those with grandfathered-in unlimited plans. Then FCC Chair Tom Wheeler said he was “deeply troubled” that Verizon may be trying to force users into more expensive plans under the guise of “network optimization.” Verizon tried to get Wheeler to back off with its “everyone’s doing it” defense, but that didn’t seem to work. [More]

(Xavier J. Peg)

NFL Threatens To Put Games On Cable If Blackout Rules Are Eliminated

Last fall, the FCC announced that it would look into whether or not it was time to eliminate blackout rules affecting local sports broadcasts of games that weren’t sold out. Since most MLB, NBA, and NHL teams have moved their broadcasts to regional sports channels and away from over-the-air TV, the only league that would be realistically impacted by the elimination of these decades’ old rules is the NFL, which recently told the FCC that it will pick up its ball and go to pay-TV if it can’t be allowed to black out games anymore. [More]

All Four National Wireless Companies Accused Of Breaking FCC Rules By Hiding Information About Data Throttling

All Four National Wireless Companies Accused Of Breaking FCC Rules By Hiding Information About Data Throttling

Just over two weeks ago, the FCC not-so-gently reminded all four big wireless carriers that although true “net neutrality” might not apply to them, there are still rules about transparency and disclosures that they have to follow. At the time, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said that companies had no excuse to think the FCC wasn’t watching them — and the FCC isn’t the only group putting wireless companies on notice over their lack of transparency. [More]

(Timothy J. Silverman)

FCC Needs To Revise Outdated Definition Of Broadband

Right now, the current FCC definition of broadband includes any service with data speeds of at least 4 Mbps downstream and only 1 Mbps up. In the days before HD video streaming, that was an adequate definition, but those numbers haven’t kept pace with the reality of new technologies or consumer demand. That’s why the FCC has announced that it is looking into possibly revising its standards for broadband. [More]


Consumers Dropped F-Bomb 4,377 Times In Comments To FCC About Net Neutrality

More than 1 million comments were submitted to the FCC by the public regarding the Commission’s flawed attempt to restore net neutrality. And more than a few of those comments included language that might make your mother blush. [More]

Verizon’s Defense For LTE Throttling: We’re Not Going After Unlimited Users; They’re Just Data Hogs

(Steve Rhodes)

Verizon Wireless recently announced that it will soon expand its data-throttling “Network Optimization” program to include users of its high-speed LTE network. FCC Chair Tom Wheeler then wrote the company, saying he was “deeply troubled” that Verizon might be trying to pass off a cash-grab as legitimate network management. Verizon has responded to Wheeler, defending the program and asking why the FCC is picking on them. [More]

DOT Firming Up Rules To Ban In-Flight Cellphone Use

DOT Firming Up Rules To Ban In-Flight Cellphone Use

It’s been more than eight months since the FCC first announced that it was considering lifting its ban on inflight cellphone use, which was followed almost immediately by the Dept. of Transportation saying it would think about enacting its own ban. Now comes news that the DOT is putting together new rules that would keep airplanes from being chatter-infested flying tubes of anger. [More]


Verizon’s Plan To Throttle Heavy LTE Users Is “Deeply Troubling” To FCC’s Wheeler

Last week, Verizon announced that it was extending its “Network Optimization” policy, which throttles speeds for the top 5% of data users, to include LTE data for the first time. This move didn’t sit well with the few remaining Verizon customers with “unlimited” data plans, nor did it thrill FCC Chair Tom Wheeler (who is apparently in a letter-writing mood this week). [More]

FCC Chair Asks Time Warner Cable Why It Treats Dodgers Fans So Badly

FCC Chair Asks Time Warner Cable Why It Treats Dodgers Fans So Badly

As we’ve discussed in an earlier post, some 70% of people in L.A. are currently unable to watch the L.A. Dodgers because SportsNet L.A., a station jointly owned by the first-place team and the bottom-of-the-barrel cable company, won’t let other pay-TV carriers air the channel without paying a premium. While the FCC has generally stayed out of such messes, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has let TWC know that he’s not exactly happy with the current situation in Los Angeles. [More]

Now You Can Tell The FCC What You Think About Bans On Municipal Broadband

(Great Beyond)

Last week, a pair of city-operated utility companies petitioned the FCC, daring Commission Chair Tom Wheeler to make good on his promises to overturn ridiculous, industry-backed state laws that ban or severely limit municipal broadband. The FCC has opened the issue up for public comment, so it’s time to make your opinion heard. [More]

The city of Chattanooga wants to be able to offer its city-owned broadband service to surrounding towns, but Tennessee law prohibits it. (photo: ash)

FCC Chair Now Has Two Chances To Overturn Bans On Municipal Broadband

Thanks to deep-pocketed telecom lobbyists, 20 states in the U.S. have laws that either ban or heavily restrict local governments from creating or investing in public broadband networks, and more states are trying to jump on that ban-wagon. For months, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has been saying that his agency could use its authority to preempt these anticonsumer laws and give municipalities the ability to invest in Internet infrastructure if they want. Now it’s time for Wheeler to put up or shut up, as the FCC ponders petitions from groups in two states. [More]


FCC Reminds Internet Providers & Wireless Companies To Follow Transparency Rules… Or Else

Earlier this year, a federal appeals court gutted the part of the 2010 Open Internet Rules dealing with so-called net neutrality. What this decision didn’t affect are the rules requiring that providers of broadband Internet access services disclose accurate information about their service offerings to the public. And so today, the FCC is sending out a reminder to ISPs (both fixed and mobile) that they need to follow the transparency guidelines or face the possibility of penalties. [More]

Kate Cox

From AT&T To Verizon: What The Web’s Biggest Players Told The FCC About Net Neutrality

The FCC originally planned to stop taking comments about their net neutrality proposal on Tuesday. But after demand overwhelmed and crashed their antique IT system, they extended the deadline to 11:59 p.m. (EDT) tonight. As of yesterday, well over one million comments had been entered, and that number’s still going up. Clearly, the public cares — but what is the public saying? [More]

Overwhelmed FCC Extends Deadline For Commenting On Net Neutrality

Overwhelmed FCC Extends Deadline For Commenting On Net Neutrality

Today was supposed to be the deadline for filing comments with the FCC about its pending net neutrality proposal. But the Commission has just announced that, due to a surge in responses that is once again overwhelming its commenting system, the deadline has been extended to Friday. [More]