FCC To Look Into Data Bottlenecks And Pay-For-Access Deals With ISPs

(Atwater Village Newbie)

The whole point of net neutrality is that Internet Service Providers like Comcast and Verizon shouldn’t be allowed to actively prioritize or degrade the data they help to deliver; it should all be treated equally. But as we’ve seen with Netflix speeds over the last year, ISPs can passively allow downstream data to bottleneck, effectively telling the largest content providers that they have to pay for more direct access. After omitting this latter issue in his controversial net neutrality proposal, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler announced today that it’s time for his commission to consider it. [More]

AT&T/DirecTV File Merger Docs With FCC, Argue They Need To Merge To Compete Against Comcast

AT&T/DirecTV File Merger Docs With FCC, Argue They Need To Merge To Compete Against Comcast


The busy summer telecom merger season continues apace. Late yesterday, AT&T filed its paperwork with the FCC, officially kicking off the regulatory process that the company needs to get through in order to buy DirecTV and allow the two to live happily ever after. [More]

(carlylutzmann)

FCC Chairman: FCC Should Preempt State Laws That Ban Or Restrict Municipal Broadband

Broadband competition in the United States stinks. One alternative is for local entities — cities and municipalities — to create their own public networks, when big companies like Comcast don’t or won’t serve them. But in 40% of states, there are laws on the books implicitly or explicitly forbidding public broadband. This week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler appears to be making good on his earlier remarks and is directly challenging those state laws. [More]

Broadband For America boasts 300 members, but some of them -- like an Ohio advocacy group and a bed and breakfast -- say they aren't actually part of the coalition.

“Broadband For America” Members Didn’t Know Group Was Front For Anti-Neutrality Cable Industry

Last week, we told you about the handful of in-name-only broadband advocacy groups that are funded by the cable and wireless industries and who are pushing its boneheaded talking points about net neutrality and how it will bring about the end of days if enacted (it won’t). We also pointed out how the member list of the questionably named Broadband For America coalition is littered with organizations — from nonexistent websites to a tile company and an Ohio inn — that are out of place next to Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and pals. Now, some of those BFA members are denouncing the coalition’s stance on net neutrality, or saying they had no idea why they were listed as coalition members to begin with. [More]

Op-Eds In Favor Of Cable Company F*ckery Are Bought & Paid For By Cable Industry

(Dan Century)

Most of media coverage surrounding the net neutrality — or rather, cable company f*ckery — issue raise concerns about the current FCC plan, which would create an unbalanced, non-neutral Internet where the quality of data delivery depends on how much the sender is paying. A number of op-ed pieces have popped up in recent weeks cheering the plan on, or claiming that broadband competition is just fine (hint: it isn’t), but these are just fictions sponsored by the cable and telecom industries. [More]

The FCC Comments Site Might Be Broken, But You Can Still E-Mail

The FCC Comments Site Might Be Broken, But You Can Still E-Mail

As we mentioned this morning, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver made a hilariously profane, impassioned plea for Americans to just give a damn and do something about the FCC’s pending net neutrality (aka “cable company f*ckery”) rules. It seems his call didn’t fall on deaf ears, as the FCC’s commenting system appears to be completely overwhelmed and inaccessible to most people. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still e-mail the Commission. [More]

FCC May Redefine “High Speed” Internet To Mean Actual High Speeds

FCC May Redefine “High Speed” Internet To Mean Actual High Speeds

When we say “broadband internet,” we think that means “fast connections.” But as far as the actual regulations are concerned, that’s not necessarily true. To the FCC, “broadband” means anything with download speeds higher than 3 Mbps. Sure, that’s literally a hundred times faster than a 1993 dial-up connection — but as we move more and more into an all-online, all-streaming future, it’s just not enough. And so the FCC is considering changing the definition to match reality. [More]

John Oliver Suggests Renaming “Net Neutrality” To “Cable Company F*ckery”

John Oliver Suggests Renaming “Net Neutrality” To “Cable Company F*ckery”

In spite of the fact that the current debate over net neutrality is one of the most important issues facing America right now, it’s not easy to get people to give a damn about the topic because it involves incredibly dull, complicated regulatory minutiae. Perhaps this calls for a rebranding. [More]

Verizon FiOS Gets Benefits Of Being A Public Utility Without The Regulations

Verizon FiOS Gets Benefits Of Being A Public Utility Without The Regulations

As you probably know, Verizon was the company behind the lawsuit that gutted the FCC’s net neutrality rules. The telecom titan successfully argued that the FCC lacked the authority to regulate broadband providers like Verizon FiOS. What was lost in this discussion is the fact that all the while Verizon was saying FiOS should not face the same level of regulation placed on landline phone service, it was enjoying all the perks of being associated with a public utility. [More]

(Steve)

FCC Could Use Mergers To Force Net Neutrality, But Shouldn’t

It’s a big year for the FCC. It’s got two huge mergers to review — Comcast/Time Warner Cable, AT&T/DirecTV — while also trying to reinstate the recently gutted net neutrality laws without ticking off the entire Internet. These related issues put the FCC in a position to force some cable operators to accept stricter net neutrality, but that’s really just kicking the can down the road. [More]

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler testifying before the House on May 20, 2014.

FCC Chair’s Proposed Net Neutrality Rule Not Popular At Congressional Hearing

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler took the hot seat today in an oversight hearing before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to testify about current issues before his agency, including net neutrality. The overriding theme of the day? Pretty much everyone who spoke hates the rule the FCC narrowly approved for consideration last week — just for different reasons. [More]

Sprint To Pay $7.5 Million To Settle Do-Not-Call Violations

Sprint To Pay $7.5 Million To Settle Do-Not-Call Violations

In the largest settlement yet for violations of Do-Not-Call regulations, Sprint will pay $7.5 million to the FCC to resolve the commission’s investigation into Sprint’s failure to honor consumer requests to opt out of marketing phone calls and texts. [More]

FCC Chair Admits Google Is Doing Better Job Of Encouraging Broadband Than FCC Is

FCC Chair Admits Google Is Doing Better Job Of Encouraging Broadband Than FCC Is

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler recently stated that he wants to remove the current blockades to municipal broadband, but considering the bottlenecked, red-tape logjam that is the federal government, that could take some time, especially with the amount of money the cable industry pumps into Congress every election cycle. And tomorrow, Wheeler will apparently tell Congress that the private sector is doing a much better job than the feds at bringing about broadband expansion. [More]

From the FCC report on pay-TV pricing.

FCC: Basic Cable Prices Increased At Four Times Rate Of Inflation

If you just had a hunch that your basic cable pricing was going up more rapidly than the other things you pay for, you’re probably not mistaken. A new FCC report on the cost of pay-TV services says that during 2012 the cost of a basic cable TV package increased at more than four times the rate of inflation in the U.S. [More]

How To Tell The FCC Exactly What You Think About The Proposed Net Neutrality Rule

How To Tell The FCC Exactly What You Think About The Proposed Net Neutrality Rule

Earlier today, the FCC voted to move forward with their new proposed net neutrality rules. While somewhat tempered from the original rumored proposal, the proposed rule is still far-sweeping and controversial. The FCC is expecting a whole heap of opinions to come pouring in on the issue, now that the official comment period is open. [More]

FCC Votes To Approve Net Neutrality Rules With Fast Lanes Intact

FCC Votes To Approve Net Neutrality Rules With Fast Lanes Intact

As predicted, the five FCC commissioners voted 3-2 today to approve Chairman Tom Wheeler’s latest version of the Open Internet rule — better known as net neutrality — with a slightly revised take on so called Internet “fast lanes,” which would have given Internet service providers like Verizon and Time Warner Cable the ability to charge content companies extra for higher priority access to end users. [More]

Let’s Dissect The Cable Industry’s Latest B.S. Argument Against Net Neutrality

Let’s Dissect The Cable Industry’s Latest B.S. Argument Against Net Neutrality

In spite of the fact that everyone — from Google to 4Chan, from the ACLU to the Harry Potter Alliance — has asked FCC Chair Tom Wheeler to rethink his addle-brained proposal for useless net neutrality, it continues to inch closer to reality, and with the support of lawmakers who are signing their names to a letter drafted by the cable industry that pays them well. [More]

Creators Of Hundreds Of TV Shows Petition FCC To Not Cancel Net Neutrality

Creators Of Hundreds Of TV Shows Petition FCC To Not Cancel Net Neutrality

People in the TV business know what happens when someone in a rush to get something, anything done by a deadline puts out a half-baked product that is doomed to failure. Ask anyone involved with just about any show that has debuted on NBC in the last few years, only to be pulled a few weeks later. So when the minds behind hundreds of TV shows tells the FCC Chairman that his plan for net neutrality needs a rewrite, maybe he should listen. [More]