AT&T and Verizon: Your Home Network Doesn’t Actually Need To Be As Fast As Your Phone

AT&T and Verizon: Your Home Network Doesn’t Actually Need To Be As Fast As Your Phone

The FCC has been all about broadband this year. In the mix with net neutrality and the Comcast/TWC merger, they’re also taking on the dearth of broadband competition consumers face and even thinking about redefining the meaning of the term to a higher minimum network speed. But AT&T and Verizon aren’t having it: according to comments they’ve filed with the FCC, a wired network connection too slow for a solid Netflix connection, and slower than the 4G your phone uses, should be perfectly satisfactory for a bandwidth-hungry nation. [More]

Comcast: Approve TWC Merger Because Broadband Will Still Suck Just As Much

Comcast: Approve TWC Merger Because Broadband Will Still Suck Just As Much

Yesterday, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler surprised a lot of people by publicly discussing the woeful state of broadband competition in the U.S. Some viewed his remarks as an indicator that the commission is leaning toward blocking the pending Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, but the ever-optimistic (read: delusional) Comcast argue that Wheeler’s words actually support the deal. [More]

Why Isn’t America Freaking Out About AT&T/DirecTV Merger — And Should We Be?

Why Isn’t America Freaking Out About AT&T/DirecTV Merger — And Should We Be?

While pretty much everyone is scrutinizing the pending mega-merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, not much attention is being paid to the possible marriage of the country’s second-largest wireless and pay-TV companies. And that leaves us with two big questions: What, if anything, makes these two mergers so different? And should we be more worried about a unified AT&T and DirecTV than we are? [More]

FCC Chair Admits There Is Nowhere Near Enough Broadband Competition

This chart presented by Wheeler shows how little competition there is for broadband, especially at increased speeds.

In spite of what Comcast would have you believe, there is very little actual competition among broadband providers in the U.S. And this morning, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler publicly explained the woeful state of competition for America’s Internet users. [More]

AT&T: Municipal Broadband Should Be Banned Anywhere Private Companies Might Want To Do Business Later

AT&T: Municipal Broadband Should Be Banned Anywhere Private Companies Might Want To Do Business Later

It’s no secret that AT&T and other big ISPs are no fans of municipal broadband projects. There are laws on the books in many states that block the expansion of municipal networks, but the FCC is considering using its authority to override those laws and let communities build networks if they wish. AT&T is also no fan of this proposal. In fact, says AT&T, not only should public networks be barred anywhere there is already a private option, but also they should be barred in any place there might possibly be a plan to build a private option in the future. [More]

Media Companies Afraid To Leave Public Comments Privately Tell FCC Why The Comcast/TWC Merger Stinks

Media Companies Afraid To Leave Public Comments Privately Tell FCC Why The Comcast/TWC Merger Stinks

Plenty of big companies have left lengthy public comments explaining their opposition to Comcast buying Time Warner Cable. Still, though, not everyone who is afraid of the potential consequences of the merger is able to go air their grievances publicly. Media organizations that usually love announcing their opinions to anyone and everyone have been suspiciously silent on the matter, perhaps, as Sen. Al Franken suggested, due to fears of retaliation from their largest business partner. But just because those companies aren’t filing public comments doesn’t mean that they’re in love with the merger, and they may be telling a very different story behind closed doors. [More]

FCC Hopes To Spare Your Ears, Tweaks Rule To Turn Down Obnoxiously Loud TV Commercials

FCC Hopes To Spare Your Ears, Tweaks Rule To Turn Down Obnoxiously Loud TV Commercials

Some things haven’t changed in 20 years: you’re watching some old movie late at night on TV, and you turn the volume up because the dialogue is so quiet. Then the ad break comes and suddenly salesmen are shouting at you so loudly you could practically hear them from space and you bang your head on the coffee table in a frantic dive for the remote. Everyone hates that — and the FCC hates it, too. [More]

FCC Fines T-Mobile $819,000 For Selling Phones That Don’t Work With Hearing Aids

FCC Fines T-Mobile $819,000 For Selling Phones That Don’t Work With Hearing Aids

Let’s point out something very, very obvious: within reason, everyone should have the right to communicate over the phone, even if they live with some form of hearing loss. For that reason, the Federal Communications Commission requires mobile phone carriers to sell a certain number of handsets that work with hearing aids. The agency says that T-Mobile failed to do this, and has fined them $819,000. [More]

(jag9889)

Time Warner Cable Fined $1.1 Million For Failing To Report Outages

No, this isn’t about the huge nationwide outage that hit millions of Time Warner Cable customers earlier this week, but the timing couldn’t be more perfect. The FCC has announced that TWC must pay a $1.1 million penalty for failing to report a number of network outages to the Commission. [More]

Sterling Davis

Here’s What Netflix, Dish & Others Said To The FCC About The Comcast/TWC Merger

The period for leaving a comment about the Comcast/TWC merger with the FCC closed on Monday. Roughly a zillion members of the public — individuals, nonprofits, state and federal politicians, telecom companies, tech trade groups, and consumer advocates — have weighed in, including several big names in pay TV who are staunchly against the deal. [More]

Initial Questions Offer Hope That FCC Isn’t Going Easy On Comcast/TWC Merger

Initial Questions Offer Hope That FCC Isn’t Going Easy On Comcast/TWC Merger

While the FCC’s public comment period for the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger remain open through Monday, the commission has already sent off its first round of questions to the companies involved. And judging by both the quantity and quality of the things being asked, it looks like the FCC isn’t ready to rubber-stamp the deal. [More]

4 Reasons Consumers Union Has Asked The FCC To Block The Comcast/TWC Merger

4 Reasons Consumers Union Has Asked The FCC To Block The Comcast/TWC Merger

The full regulatory approval process for the Comcast/TWC merger has months left to go, but we’re getting down to the wire on one part of it: the deadline for public comments is Monday. Our colleagues down the hall at Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, have now officially asked the FCC to block this thing, and with good reason. [More]

Now’s Your Chance: FCC Public Comment Period For Comcast/TWC Merger Ends Monday

Now’s Your Chance: FCC Public Comment Period For Comcast/TWC Merger Ends Monday

Comcast and Time Warner Cable announced their intention to merge into wedded corporate bliss back in the middle of February. Now, six months later, the process is still rolling along. Monday — August 25 — is the deadline for members of the public to leave comments with the FCC about the merger. Got thoughts? You have three days left to make them heard. [More]

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]