FCC Chairman Genachowski Confirms He’s Stepping Down

After four years on the job, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has confirmed reports that he’ll be stepping down within the coming weeks. [More]

(Eva_Deht)

White House Agrees That Cellphone Unlocking Should Be Legal Again

In January, a decision by the Librarian of Congress made it illegal for cellphone owners to unlock new devices without the permission of their current wireless carrier. This decision sparked public outrage, including a petition on the White House website calling for the administration to give this right back to consumers. The White House has since responded to say it concurs that this decision is a little messed up. [More]

FCC To Look Into Legality Of Unlocking Cellphones, May Not Be Able To Do Anything

FCC To Look Into Legality Of Unlocking Cellphones, May Not Be Able To Do Anything

Back in January, a new rule changed kicked in that makes it illegal for a consumer to unlock a cellphone purchased after Jan. 25, 2013, without getting the permission of their wireless carrier. Now the Federal Communications Commission is going to look into the matter, but isn’t sure if it can actually do anything. [More]

Some ISPs are still lagging in providing the speeds they advertise.

Which ISPs Are Providing The Speeds They Advertise?

Once again, the FCC has put a wide range of Internet service providers to the test to see whether or not they are delivering on the speeds they advertise to customers. And while it the majority of ISPs are not far off, with a few actually over-delivering, some still have a way to go. [More]

(spevman)

Georgia Law Would Ban Public Broadband Service If Just One Person Has So-So Internet Access

A number of municipalities around the country, especially in rural areas, are considering public broadband networks as a way to spur development and enterprise. Yet legislators keep drafting laws intended to keep some citizens in the stone age — at least until the telecoms get around to building private networks. [More]

This is not a photo of me (I WISH I still had hair like that), but is actually FCC Chair Julius Genachowski.

FCC Chair Wants Gigabit Internet Access In All 50 States By 2015

With some critics claiming the U.S. is falling behind other developed nations in access to high-speed Internet, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has announced the “Gigabit City Challenge,” hoping to get at least one city in each state to offer gigabit Internet access by 2015. [More]

(Karen_Chappell)

FCC Makes Changes To Improve Availability Of In-Flight Internet Access

For more than a decade, the FCC has been approving individual applications from companies to provide in-flight Internet access. But this burdensome process will soon be cut in half thanks to new rules issued by the Commission. [More]

(Mytoenailcameoff)

FCC Asks FAA To Lighten Up About In-Air Wireless Device Restrictions

With pilots approved to use iPads as flight manuals in their cockpits, and the FAA’s own studies finding “no evidence saying [wireless] devices can’t interfere with a plane, and… no evidence saying that they can,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has asked the FAA to ease up on restrictions against wireless device use on planes. [More]

(epicharmus)

AT&T To Refund Cash To Customers Forced Into Monthly Data Plans

Back in Sept. 2009, AT&T began requiring new smartphone customers to have monthly data plans, but existing customers with pay-as-you-go data plans were supposed to have been able to have their plans grandfathered in. Yet a number of customers who had their devices replaced either through insurance or warranty were mistakenly forced into monthly plans. Now AT&T has agreed to let these people change their accounts back and receive refunds for the error. [More]

(Louis Abate)

AT&T Customer Complains To FCC About Being Unable To Use FaceTime Over 3G/4G

AT&T customers who want to use the iPhone’s FaceTime video chat over a cellular connection need to switch over to one of the Death Star’s shared data plans. Unfortunately, since AT&T is the company that convinced the Supreme Court that forced arbitration clauses are an acceptable way to avoid class-action lawsuits, angry customers with unlimited data plans can’t get together to sue the company. But what they can do is file a complaint with the FCC. [More]

It’s All The FCC’s Fault That Reader Can’t Watch His Local News Over Dish Network

It’s All The FCC’s Fault That Reader Can’t Watch His Local News Over Dish Network

Earlier this week, we shared a letter from reader Dale, who was sad that Dish Network didn’t provide him with his actual local broadcast stations, instead giving him the stations from a larger city that’s in his same state but farther away. “It’s the map,” customer service representatives insisted. Fortunately, many of our readers know more about Dish Network service than its own employees do, and wrote in to help straighten us–and Dale–out. [More]

Advocates File Net Neutrality Complaint Over AT&T's FaceTime Policy

Advocates File Net Neutrality Complaint Over AT&T's FaceTime Policy

Last month, AT&T confirmed that iPhone customers who want to use the iPhone’s FaceTime video chat app over a cellular connection would need to belong to one of the company’s new shared data plans. At the time, several advocates raised concerns about whether or not this requirement violated the FCC’s Open Internet rules, and now these same groups have moved to file an actual complaint with regulators. [More]

Cable Industry Says It Shouldn't Have To Adjust Volume On Ads Because C-SPAN Doesn't Have To

Cable Industry Says It Shouldn't Have To Adjust Volume On Ads Because C-SPAN Doesn't Have To

On December 13, a new piece of legislation intended to prevent obnoxiously loud TV advertising from ruining your nap will take effect. But the cable industry is making a last-minute move to get an exemption for “promotional” ads (aren’t all ads supposed to be promotional?). Their reasoning? They just want the same leeway given to that ad-bloated TV powerhouse C-SPAN. [More]

FCC To Test Mobile Broadband Speeds… In Due Time

FCC To Test Mobile Broadband Speeds… In Due Time

For two years now, the Federal Communications Commission has been looking at terrestrial broadband services to see which DSL/cable/fiber/string-and-cans providers are actually delivering the speeds they promise. So it only makes sense for the FCC to start looking at just how quickly U.S. consumers are able to download data over mobile networks. Unfortunately, the federal government still moves at the speed of a crappy dial-up line. [More]

The FCC Thinks It Might Want To Start Collecting Taxes On Broadband Internet Service

The FCC Thinks It Might Want To Start Collecting Taxes On Broadband Internet Service

Here’s something you might have missed — there could soon be a new tax on your broadband Internet service, if the Federal Communications Commission has its way. The proposed tax would go toward ensuring more people have access to the Internet, along the lines of the taxes already consumers pay for landlines and cellular phone service. [More]

See All The Pink On This Map? Those Are The 19 Million Americans Without Broadband Access

See All The Pink On This Map? Those Are The 19 Million Americans Without Broadband Access

The Federal Communications Commission (or as we insiders like to call it, the FCC) has released its annual report on the state of broadband deployment in these here United States and while there is improvement in getting to the point where all Americans at least have the ability to access broadband Internet, you can see there is still quite a bit of pink on that map. [More]

DOJ Tweaks Verizon Deal To Buy Spectrum From Cable Companies So Consumers Still Have A Few Choices

DOJ Tweaks Verizon Deal To Buy Spectrum From Cable Companies So Consumers Still Have A Few Choices

As we wrote earlier this month, Verizon Wireless’ proposed purchase of billions of dollars worth of wireless spectrum from Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other cable companies that aren’t using it anyway, could result in fewer cable and Internet provider options for American consumers. Well, it looks like the Dept. of Justice was listening to at least some of the concerned voices, as it has given its approval to the deal — but not without some significant changes. [More]

Verizon Must Pay FCC $1.25 Million Fine, Let Android Users Tether For Free

Verizon Must Pay FCC $1.25 Million Fine, Let Android Users Tether For Free

Good news for people who enjoy tethering their smartphones, but dislike having to pay their phone company extra for the privilege. Well, as long as those people are customers of Verizon. Who have Android devices. And aren’t grandfathered onto an unlimited data plan. Yesterday, the Federal Communication Commission announced that Verizon Wireless has to allow customers access to third-party tethering applications. Verizon insists that they totally never told Google to withhold tethering apps from their customers in the Android Market/Google Play. But they’re “voluntarily” paying a $1.25 million fine as a result of the investigation, and have agreed to train all employees on why they can’t block users from downloading any (legal) apps. [More]