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.

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AT&T Promises: Kill Net Neutrality And You’ll Pay Less For Internet

In a filing with the FCC about net neutrality, AT&T swears that "flexible" neutrality rules would lower costs for you and me and everyone!

Most of the discussion about net neutrality and paid peering has been about who shoulders the financial burden for increased broadband use — the Internet Service Providers who need to invest in hardware and manpower to meet demand, or the companies like Netflix, Google, and Amazon whose content is so in-demand that it requires extra support from the ISPs? In the end, it doesn’t really matter since it’s the consumer who ultimately foots the bill, but AT&T is making its argument for weak net neutrality by saying it will lead to lower rates for subscribers. [More]

Apple, Comcast Chatting About Streaming TV Service That Would Make End-Run Around Net Neutrality

Apple, Comcast Chatting About Streaming TV Service That Would Make End-Run Around Net Neutrality

One of the biggest roadblocks for non-cable TV companies looking to get into the business of offering live TV service over the Internet is that these cable companies often control that “last mile” of Internet service to customers’ homes. Since the FCC’s net neutrality rules have been gutted — and ISPs now realizing they can charge tolls to content providers even if those rules were in place — the end-user might just get a TV screen full of blocky, stuttering visuals and intermittent audio. Apple is reportedly chatting with Comcast about a set-top box that would get around this concern by treating Apple’s stream differently than regular Internet traffic. [More]

FCC To TV Companies: You Can’t Broadcast Emergency Alert Tones If It’s Not An Emergency

FCC To TV Companies: You Can’t Broadcast Emergency Alert Tones If It’s Not An Emergency

The thing about the Emergency Alert System is that it’s only supposed to be used to alert people when there’s an actual emergency. So anyone viewing the trailer for 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen might’ve been alarmed to hear those telltale tones along with “This is not a test” — at least until Gerard Butler’s face hits the screen. [More]

Franken: Comcast’s Previous Behavior Doesn’t Bode Well For Time Warner Cable Deal

Franken: Comcast’s Previous Behavior Doesn’t Bode Well For Time Warner Cable Deal

When Comcast finally goes before lawmakers and regulators to make its case for a merger with Time Warner Cable, it will likely promise a pile of concessions and policy changes in order to paint a rosier picture of the future. But Senator Al Franken of Minnesota is looking to the past, pointing out concerns with the cable company’s spotty track record. [More]

AT&T Announces First Two Locations For Tests Of Internet-Based Landlines

AT&T Announces First Two Locations For Tests Of Internet-Based Landlines

In January, the FCC gave landline telecom providers the go-ahead to begin tests of Internet-based phone service intended to replace existing copper-line phone networks. Today, AT&T finally revealed the two locations in which it would like to kick off its testing. [More]

Everyone At The FCC & DOJ Should Be Forced To Watch This “Comcast Doesn’t Give A F#!k” Video

Everyone At The FCC & DOJ Should Be Forced To Watch This “Comcast Doesn’t Give A F#!k” Video

In the debate over whether or not to approve the merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, there has been a lot of in-depth discussion of market share, divestments, fiber competition, and all sorts of other things the average cable subscriber doesn’t concern herself with because she has better things to do. What’s at risk of being overlooked is that Comcast is just a horrible company that really doesn’t care about its many millions of customers who have no other choice. [More]

(Consumerist)

House Passes Bill To Re-Legalize Cellphone Unlocking

A legislative effort to once again make it legal for consumers to unlock their cellphones without seeking their carriers’ permission is a step closer to reality after being passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. [More]

Uncle Sam, Pre-Marital Counselor: The Approval Process Ahead For Comcast And TWC

Uncle Sam, Pre-Marital Counselor: The Approval Process Ahead For Comcast And TWC

The proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, as it currently stands, looks like it could be a good move for the businesses and a bad move for consumers. But right now it’s still just that: a proposed merger. In order for this corporate marriage to move forward, federal regulators first have to approve the union–and that’s where it gets tricky. [More]

The DOT Wants To Know: Should Cell Phone Calls Be Allowed On Planes?

The DOT Wants To Know: Should Cell Phone Calls Be Allowed On Planes?

Back in December when the Federal Communications Commission announced it would start investigating whether or not it’s a good idea to lift the ban on cell phone calls on planes — from a technological point of view — the Department of Transportation was all, “Hold on, we’re going to look into this too.” The DOT is now turning to the public to hear your thoughts. [More]

FCC Chair Announces Vague Plan To Try To Fix Net Neutrality

FCC Chair Announces Vague Plan To Try To Fix Net Neutrality

Last month, a federal appeals court struck down the core components of the FCC’s net neutrality rules, effectively opening the door for Internet service providers to block, throttle, or charge exorbitant fees to bandwidth-heavy content companies (Netflix, we’re all looking at you). The court had ruled that the FCC had never properly classified ISPs in a way that would allow the neutrality rules to apply. Today, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler unveiled a general outline for his plan to get those guidelines back in place. [More]

(afagen)

White House Wants FCC To Support Net Neutrality, Won’t Order It To Reclassify Broadband ISPs

The White House today issued a response to a petition asking the Obama administration to intervene with the FCC to preserve net neutrality. Although the response “reaffirms” and “strongly supports” the administration’s commitment to net neutrality, that support does not extend to telling the FCC what to do. [More]

Time Warner Cable Shareholder Sues To Block Comcast Merger

Time Warner Cable Shareholder Sues To Block Comcast Merger

It’s not just consumers and advocacy groups that are worried about the pending sale of Time Warner Cable to Comcast for $45 billion. On Friday, a TWC shareholder has filed a lawsuit to block the merger, claiming that executives prioritized their own bank accounts over investors’ interests for a deal that will have a difficult time passing regulatory muster. [More]

Michael J. Copps

5 Ways The FCC Has Failed Consumers (And One Way To Fix It), From A Former FCC Commissioner

Former FCC commissioner Michael Copps has a long history of trying to support consumer interests. He has been an outspoken critic of media consolidation for many years. Back in 2011, he was the lone dissenting vote on the Comcast/NBC merger and recently, he’s been calling on the FCC to reclassify broadband ISPs and fix net neutrality ASAP. [More]

Bill To Ban In-Flight Wireless Voice Calls Moves Forward

Bill To Ban In-Flight Wireless Voice Calls Moves Forward

The battle for a maintaining relative amount peace and quiet on commercial airlines moved on to the next stage this afternoon after a Congressional committee voted to advance a piece of legislation that would ban the in-flight use of the “phone” part of your cellphones. [More]

(afagen)

What Can A Regulator With A Sense Of Ethics Do After Leaving The Feds? Try Not To Become A Lobbyist.

After many years building your career, you’ve reached such a level of good reputation and success that you’ve been tapped to lead a major federal regulatory agency for a few years. Wow! That’s real power. Great job! But your term ends, or the administration changes, and your time in charge of the agency is done. You feel strongly that you’ve got another decade or two in you before retirement, though. So what’s your next move? [More]

Congressional Democrats Propose Legislation To Preserve Net Neutrality

Congressional Democrats Propose Legislation To Preserve Net Neutrality

Net neutrality may be dead since a court overturned it in January, but legislators are trying to resurrect it as quickly as possible. [More]

FCC OKs Tests That Would Replace Copper Landlines

FCC OKs Tests That Would Replace Copper Landlines

We told you earlier today that the FCC was scheduled to vote on whether or not to allow landline telephone service providers to initiate regional tests that would replace existing landline networks with Internet-based VoIP phone service. The Commission has met and agreed that it will permit regional tests to move forward. [More]