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Congressional Committee Officially Asks FCC To Kill Set-Top Box Reform

If you had any hope of being able to get your cable box from someone other than your cable company (or paying Tivo’s ridiculously high prices and subscription fees), you should probably just throw that hope into the garbage bin. One Congressional committee — the head of which has been heavily funded by the pay-TV and broadcast industries — has officially called on new FCC Chair Ajit Pai to scuttle the agency’s stalled efforts to make set-top boxes better and more affordable. [More]

Senators Call On AT&T And Time Warner To Explain How Merger Will Benefit Americans

Senators Call On AT&T And Time Warner To Explain How Merger Will Benefit Americans

During the campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump talked openly about putting a halt to the pending merger of AT&T and Time Warner, he has since appointed an FCC Chairman who has historically been pro-merger. That’s why a handful of Senators have called on the two companies to explain how this consolidation will be in the public interest. [More]

FCC.gov

Net Neutrality Foe Ajit Pai Officially Named FCC Chairman

As expected, President Trump has elevated Ajit Pai from his FCC Commissioner to Chairman, clearly establishing that the new administration seeks to undo the telecommunications regulations of the previous White House. [More]

FCC.gov

Net Neutrality Basher Ajit Pai Reportedly Close To Being Named FCC Chairman

As we mentioned more than a month ago, conservative FCC firebrand Ajit Pai was among the most likely candidates to be appointed as Commission’s chairman following the exit of now-former Chair Tom Wheeler. Now comes a report claiming that Pai will soon be handed the reins of an agency whose recent policies he openly opposed. [More]

Consumer Reports

FCC Chair: Networks Have “Incentive And Ability” To Disregard Consumers

Next week, Tom Wheeler will step down as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission after three years, during which the FCC issued the 2015 Open Internet Order (aka Net Neutrality), making internet service providers and wireless companies more accountable. While the incoming Trump administration has not yet nominated Wheeler’s replacement, all indications are that the new-look FCC will seek to undo much of the current Commission’s work. This morning, Wheeler made his final argument against taking a sledgehammer to everything he’s accomplished. [More]

AT&T Thinks It Might Be Able To Avoid FCC Review Of Time Warner Merger

AT&T Thinks It Might Be Able To Avoid FCC Review Of Time Warner Merger

A merger of the nation’s largest pay-TV provider (and second-largest wireless service provider) and a major multimedia conglomerate with multiple cable channels might seem like a gimme for review by the Federal Communications Commission, but AT&T now thinks it may be able to avoid or minimize scrutiny from the agency in its efforts to acquire Time Warner. [More]

angela n.

Telecom Lobbyists Trying To Overturn New Privacy Rules, Eventually Gut Net Neutrality

It’s no secret that the incoming administration is pretty keen on gutting the 2015 Open Internet rule (aka, net neutrality) as soon as it gets a chance. But while there might be new leadership at the FCC in just over two weeks, the rules of process still apply. There’s no magic “remove it” wand for folks opposed to net neutrality to wave; there’s just the long, slow road of petitions, hearings, and evidence, which has formally kicked off this week. [More]

Consumer Reports

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler To Step Down When Trump Takes Office

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler — the former frontman for both the cable and wireless industries who has recently pushed the Commission into new, controversial areas of regulation that clash with the apparent goals of the incoming Trump administration — has confirmed his plans to step down after the President-elect gets the keys to the Oval Office. [More]

Tom Richardson

Likely Pick For Next FCC Chair Thinks Net Neutrality’s “Days Are Numbered”

The FCC has approved a significant number of major pro-consumer rules in the last few years. Most, however, were contentious within the Commission, and passed on a 3-2 margin. One of the two reliable dissenters, commissioner Ajit Pai, is now on deck as the likely inheritor of the Chairman’s seat when President-Elect Donald Trump’s administration comes to power in January — and he’s already hoping to do away with some of the FCC’s recent rules. [More]

angela n.

Cable Exec: Data Caps For All Are Inevitable, “It’s Not If … But When And How”

Hey, remember when your home broadband was effectively unfettered by monthly restrictions on downloads? Well, internet service providers would prefer that you didn’t have such free and easy access to data, because they want those data caps to be for all your internet use, everywhere, as soon as they can make it happen. [More]

FCC Warns AT&T, Verizon That Sponsored Data Programs May Harm Consumers

FCC Warns AT&T, Verizon That Sponsored Data Programs May Harm Consumers

While last year’s Open Internet Order — better known as the “net neutrality” rules — stops broadband providers from blocking, speeding up, or slowing down data to or from sources of their choosing, that rule doesn’t explicitly deal with the practice of “zero-rating,” where a broadband provider doesn’t count certain content against the user’s monthly data limit. After recently raising “serious concerns” about this practice, the FCC is now warning AT&T and Verizon that some of their zero-rating programs appear to harm consumers by providing these companies with unfair advantages in streaming video. [More]

TroyMarcyPhotography.com

FCC: Cable Internet Really Is Getting Better But It Still Sucks To Have DSL

The FCC has released its latest Measuring Broadband America report, which — among other things — tells consumers if internet providers are indeed living up to the super-fast speeds they advertise. And while the industry is getting better at both delivering and marketing cable broadband, Americans who rely on satellite or DSL internet access are having difficulty catching up.
[More]

Ben Roffelsen Photography

Giddy Investors Already ‘shipping Comcast, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile Mergers Under Trump Administration

This is shocking, we know, but: big businesses really like to make money. And when you’re already as huge as, say Comcast, one of the best ways to make oodles more money is to snap up another company and start raking in its revenues, too. Could Comcast snap up Verizon? Charter grab Sprint? At least one tech stock analyst thinks that deals like this, which might sound outlandish today, could be on the table soon. [More]

Tom Richardson

Net Neutrality, FCC Itself Likely To Face Big Challenges Under Trump Administration

In the two weeks since being named president-elect, Donald Trump has already named a handful of nominees to key positions and expanded his transition team to help determine who should fill in those other spots, and what policies will guide them. Based on the backgrounds of the two men heading up the FCC transition efforts, some of the Commission’s recent efforts will likely be rolled back, and the FCC’s entire role may be reconsidered. [More]

U.S., Canada Team Up To Fight Robocalls Together

U.S., Canada Team Up To Fight Robocalls Together

If you didn’t have much to do during the mid-’90s, you may remember a CBS show called Due South about the unlikely crimefighting duo (is there ever a show about a likely crimefighting duo?) of Constable Benton Fraser of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Chicago Detective Raymond Vecchio (until he had to go deep undercover and was replaced by not-quite-lookalike Det. Stanley Kowalski). Today’s announcement from regulators in the U.S. and Canada is exactly like that show, except it’s about robocalls, and is really nothing at all like that show. [More]

FCC Chair To Trump Administration: Putting Industry’s Wants Over Public Interest Would Be A “Real Mistake”

FCC Chair To Trump Administration: Putting Industry’s Wants Over Public Interest Would Be A “Real Mistake”

This morning, the FCC was supposed to consider a number of items during its monthly open meeting, but yesterday afternoon the Commission suddenly deleted almost everything from the agenda, including matters related to expansion of wireless broadband networks, standardized roaming on wireless, competition in business data services, and requirements on accessibility to certain programming to visually impaired Americans. After today’s brief meeting, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler spoke publicly about why these items were removed, and indirectly called on President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration to put consumer protection before the desires of the telecom, pay-TV, and wireless industries. [More]

Matt Reinbold

FCC: Don’t Be Fooled By Callers Posing As Utility Employees Demanding Payment

We’ve heard about scammers who call up consumers and pretend to be utility company workers, demanding immediate payment. And as we head into the winter, when many people might be endangered by an interruption in heat, the Federal Communications Commission is warning folks to be especially wary of such calls. [More]

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FCC Has “Serious Concerns” About AT&T Exempting DirecTV Video From Mobile Data Caps

In September, AT&T announced that it would not charge streaming DirecTV content against wireless customers’ monthly data caps. It’s a controversial practice known as “zero-rating” that some believe has anticompetitive effects, especially when the content company is owned by the wireless provider. It’s an issue the FCC has not yet ruled on definitively, but one that the Commission says may be cause for concern. [More]