Will FCC Overturn State Laws Blocking Municipal Broadband?

Will FCC Overturn State Laws Blocking Municipal Broadband?

Because heaven forbid someone other than cable and phone companies offer quality Internet access, some 20 states have laws that either ban or heavily restrict municipal broadband, and recent attempts to ban muni broadband in Kansas, and Georgia have only failed following public outcry. Yesterday, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler gave some hope that his agency would stop new bans from being put in place, but didn’t mention the fate of the existing laws. [More]

FCC Chairman: I’d Rather Give In To Verizon’s Definition Of Net Neutrality Than Fight

(Travis Modisette)

With every word he writes, recently installed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler shows he has little interest or belief in net neutrality as most consumers understand it. In another flimsy attempt at defending his position on “fast lanes” — i.e., allowing Internet service providers to charge more to content companies seeking priority access to end-users — Wheeler contends that consumers should do what Verizon and other telecoms want because well, it could take a while to do it correctly. [More]

(Jim)

Everything You Need To Know Before E-mailing The FCC About Net Neutrality

A lot of people have had a lot to say about the FCC’s proposed “fix” to the recently-vacated Open Internet Rule, better known as net neutrality. The official proposed rule will become available to the public on May 15, but the FCC has already established a way to accept public comments by e-mail. But the process is fraught with questions: is it worth your time? Will they publish your personal information? Does the FCC even take any e-mailed comments into consideration when they’re making their new rules? [More]

Netflix Will Also Pay Verizon To End Streaming Bottleneck

Netflix Will Also Pay Verizon To End Streaming Bottleneck

The months-long game of chicken between Netflix and Verizon has come to an end, with the streaming video company agreeing to pay off the ISP for a more direct connection to its network. For Netflix users with FiOS accounts, it means you will finally be able to watch streamed reruns of Mad Men without having to guess which character you’re looking at, but it continues to demonstrate that ISPs can passive-aggressively compel data-heavy content companies to ante up in order to reach their users. [More]

Stories You Might Have Missed Because You Were Too Busy Being Awesome

Stories You Might Have Missed Because You Were Too Busy Being Awesome

We post a lot of stories during the week, and we know that most of you have jobs, families, lives, hobbies, nagging itches and other more important things to do than read every single thing we write. So for those who might be playing catch-up on the weekend, here are some of the things you might have missed… [More]

You Know Who Made A Great Case Against Internet Fast Lanes? The FCC

You Know Who Made A Great Case Against Internet Fast Lanes? The FCC

Judging by new FCC Chair Tom Wheeler’s vision of net neutrality, one might think the commission has no understanding of the very concept it is claiming to try to enforce. But that wasn’t so only a few years ago, when the FCC laid out a version of neutrality that is very, very different from the snake oil Wheeler is attempting to sell as a cure-all tonic. [More]

FCC Chairman Insults Consumers’ Intelligence With Attempt To Defend Flimsy Net Neutrality

(Bill Bradford)

Today, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler is walking around to the offices of his fellow commissioners and passing out freshly mimeographed copies of his proposal for new net neutrality rules. He’s also typed up, presumably on a trusty Imperial A, a defense of his baffling decision to disregard the whole “neutrality” aspect of net neutrality by allowing deep-pocket content companies to pay for “fast lane” access. [More]

FCC Makes Mockery Of Net Neutrality With Proposal To Allow Internet “Fast Lanes”

(frankieleon)

Recently installed FCC Chair Tom Wheeler apparently has no interest in actual net neutrality, as the new rules he’s proposing this week allow for Internet service providers to create so-called “fast lanes” for content companies willing to pay extra to more reliably deliver their data to the end-user. [More]

FCC Chair Almost Ready To Share His New Take On Net Neutrality

FCC Chair Almost Ready To Share His New Take On Net Neutrality

UPDATE: Some details of Wheeler’s proposal have leaked, and… well, it’s not good for supporters of net neutrality.

——-
Earlier this year, a federal appeals court eviscerated the FCC’s Open Internet (aka net neutrality) rule following a legal challenge by Verizon, effectively allowing ISPs to give priority access to their own content (or content from sites and services that pay for the privilege) while also blocking or throttling access to competing services and content. Net neutrality has been recuperating from that back-breaking defeat in a virtual underground prison, but is now preparing to scale the wall and return to the real world. [More]

Comcast Officially Files for TWC Merger, Claims Broadband Competition Is Fine Because You Have A Smartphone

Comcast Officially Files for TWC Merger, Claims Broadband Competition Is Fine Because You Have A Smartphone

It’s a big day for Comcast: not only did they win a big old golden poo this morning, but also they formally took the first step in the regulatory dance that stands between them and their purchase of Time Warner Cable by filing a mountain of paperwork with the FCC. The massive document contains all of Comcast’s explanations for why the merger is the best idea ever… and it’s a doozy. Let’s take a closer look at their arguments, shall we? [More]

Stories You Might Have Missed Because You Were Too Busy Being Awesome

Stories You Might Have Missed Because You Were Too Busy Being Awesome

We post a lot of stories during the week, and we know that most of you have jobs, families, lives, hobbies, nagging itches and other more important things to do than read every single thing we write. So for those who might be playing catch-up on the weekend, here are some of the things you might have missed… [More]

FCC Isn’t Considering Pay-For-Access Deals In New Net Neutrality Rules

FCC Isn’t Considering Pay-For-Access Deals In New Net Neutrality Rules

Back in February, after a federal court gutted net neutrality but before Netflix agreed to pay a premium to Comcast to alleviate its data bottleneck, we predicted that any new neutrality rules would not do anything to prevent the slowdowns that users of Xfinity, FiOS and U-Verse had complained about. If you were more optimistic and holding out hope that the FCC would at least consider this issue, prepare to be disappointed. [More]

Even Business Travelers Don’t Want Anyone Yakking Away On The Phone In Mid-Air

Even Business Travelers Don’t Want Anyone Yakking Away On The Phone In Mid-Air

Who do you think of when you imagine the chatty kind of person who might want to make phone calls in the middle of a crowded airplane, mid-flight? While your mental picture might land on a businessperson in a suit yelling something about mergers and Hong Kong markets and getting that deal done before they close, a trade group representing business travelers has come out against the idea. [More]

Verizon: Everything Is Great, Let’s Not Mess It Up By Fixing Net Neutrality

Verizon: Everything Is Great, Let’s Not Mess It Up By Fixing Net Neutrality

Ah, Verizon, those well-known lovers of net neutrality. They love it so much that they sued the FCC to get net neutrality tossed out — a move that succeeded earlier this year. And now, Verizon’s showing their deep and abiding fondness for internet openness by telling the FCC just how much we don’t need to protect it at all. [More]

Sen. Franken Calls Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger A “Terrible Deal For Consumers”

Sen. Franken Calls Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger A “Terrible Deal For Consumers”

While Comcast has financial ties to numerous important members of the House and Senate, there are a few folks on Capitol Hill who have no problem speaking out against the cable company’s plan to expand its domination of the pay-TV and Internet business by acquiring Time Warner Cable and its millions of customers. Sen. Al Franken has already expressed concern about the merger, but yesterday he made his position on the matter very clear. [More]

Lawmakers Call On FCC To Make Complaint Database Accessible To Public

Lawmakers Call On FCC To Make Complaint Database Accessible To Public

Every year, the FCC receives hundreds of thousands of complaints from consumers, but those gripes are rarely made public. That’s why a pair of Senators are urging the Commission to follow the lead of other federal agencies that offer public, searchable databases of complaints. [More]

TV Writers Come Out Against Comcast/Time Warner Cable Deal

TV Writers Come Out Against Comcast/Time Warner Cable Deal

Given that Comcast is already the nation’s largest cable and Internet provider and the owner of a broadcast TV network, multiple cable channels, numerous local TV stations, a major movie studio, some theme parks, and a partridge in a pear tree, you might assume that people who make their living selling scripts to Comcast-owned companies would be reluctant to bite the hand that feeds them. But last week, the Writer’s Guild of America asked the FCC to block Comcast’s pending $45 billion deal to buy Time Warner Cable. [More]

FCC: Thousands Of Hotels Don’t Have Phones With Direct Access To 9-1-1

FCC: Thousands Of Hotels Don’t Have Phones With Direct Access To 9-1-1

A few weeks ago, Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai decided to start asking hotels if their phones offered direct access to 9-1-1, or if guests would have to dial “9″ first to get an outgoing line or are routed through the front desk first. The results are in, and Pai is not pleased.

[More]