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]

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]

Verizon’s Defense For LTE Throttling: We’re Not Going After Unlimited Users; They’re Just Data Hogs

(Steve Rhodes)

Verizon Wireless recently announced that it will soon expand its data-throttling “Network Optimization” program to include users of its high-speed LTE network. FCC Chair Tom Wheeler then wrote the company, saying he was “deeply troubled” that Verizon might be trying to pass off a cash-grab as legitimate network management. Verizon has responded to Wheeler, defending the program and asking why the FCC is picking on them. [More]

(northernplateguy)

Verizon’s Plan To Throttle Heavy LTE Users Is “Deeply Troubling” To FCC’s Wheeler

Last week, Verizon announced that it was extending its “Network Optimization” policy, which throttles speeds for the top 5% of data users, to include LTE data for the first time. This move didn’t sit well with the few remaining Verizon customers with “unlimited” data plans, nor did it thrill FCC Chair Tom Wheeler (who is apparently in a letter-writing mood this week). [More]

FCC Chair Asks Time Warner Cable Why It Treats Dodgers Fans So Badly

FCC Chair Asks Time Warner Cable Why It Treats Dodgers Fans So Badly

As we’ve discussed in an earlier post, some 70% of people in L.A. are currently unable to watch the L.A. Dodgers because SportsNet L.A., a station jointly owned by the first-place team and the bottom-of-the-barrel cable company, won’t let other pay-TV carriers air the channel without paying a premium. While the FCC has generally stayed out of such messes, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has let TWC know that he’s not exactly happy with the current situation in Los Angeles. [More]

Now You Can Tell The FCC What You Think About Bans On Municipal Broadband

(Great Beyond)

Last week, a pair of city-operated utility companies petitioned the FCC, daring Commission Chair Tom Wheeler to make good on his promises to overturn ridiculous, industry-backed state laws that ban or severely limit municipal broadband. The FCC has opened the issue up for public comment, so it’s time to make your opinion heard. [More]

The city of Chattanooga wants to be able to offer its city-owned broadband service to surrounding towns, but Tennessee law prohibits it. (photo: ash)

FCC Chair Now Has Two Chances To Overturn Bans On Municipal Broadband

Thanks to deep-pocketed telecom lobbyists, 20 states in the U.S. have laws that either ban or heavily restrict local governments from creating or investing in public broadband networks, and more states are trying to jump on that ban-wagon. For months, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has been saying that his agency could use its authority to preempt these anticonsumer laws and give municipalities the ability to invest in Internet infrastructure if they want. Now it’s time for Wheeler to put up or shut up, as the FCC ponders petitions from groups in two states. [More]

Overwhelmed FCC Extends Deadline For Commenting On Net Neutrality

Overwhelmed FCC Extends Deadline For Commenting On Net Neutrality

Today was supposed to be the deadline for filing comments with the FCC about its pending net neutrality proposal. But the Commission has just announced that, due to a surge in responses that is once again overwhelming its commenting system, the deadline has been extended to Friday. [More]

AGs For Illinois, New York Ask FCC To Strengthen Net Neutrality

(djgrafite)

Thousands upon thousands of consumers have already voiced their opinion to the FCC about its not-really-neutral net neutrality (aka “cable company f*ckery”) proposal that would allow deep-pocketed content companies to muscle out smaller competitors by paying for so-called “fast lane” access to end users. Two voices in favor of stronger rules that may carry a little more weight with the FCC are the attorneys general of Illinois and New York. [More]

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler Says He Is Not A Dingo

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler Says He Is Not A Dingo

A couple weeks back, HBO’s John Oliver questioned whether it was wise to fill the FCC Chairman vacancy with former cable/wireless lobbyist Tom Wheeler, likening the decision to a parent hiring a dingo as a babysitter. Wheeler takes issue with the comparison and is now publicly denying that he is a child-devouring canine. [More]

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]

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]

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]