The time from new rumor to signed deal was only about two days, and yet here we are: AT&T is putting the moves on Time Warner, planning to bring the content powerhouse under its roof. This proposal will now, of course, have to grind its way through the gears of government approval. But while this proposal is a giant deal for two giant companies, the name that’s likely to come up more than any other in all the comments back-and-forth is neither Time Warner nor AT&T, but rather a competitor: Comcast. [More]
When Tom Wheeler was appointed FCC Chair in 2013, some questioned whether a former frontman for both the cable and telecom industries could possibly keep consumers’ needs in mind when dealing with the companies he’d known intimately for decades. John Oliver even likened the naming of Wheeler as FCC Chair to “needing a babysitter and hiring a dingo.” Yet, not only has Wheeler demonstrated that he’s not a dingo, he’s also gone toe-to-toe with the companies he once represented, enacting new net neutrality rules that regulate broadband as a utility, challenging phone companies to put an end to robocalls, going after wireless providers for misleading “unlimited” plans, and trying to shake up the pay-TV monopoly on set-top boxes. [More]
If you’re going to market “unlimited” wireless data plans, you’d better adequately disclose that, as the name might imply, you’re not selling unfettered access to all the data you could possibly use in a month. Otherwise, you could end up on the hook for millions of dollars in penalties and discounts. [More]
In August, an appeals court threw out the Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit against AT&T over the way it marketed its “unlimited” data plans (which were anything but unlimited). Now the FTC is taking its case up the legal ladder, making the case that if it’s not allowed to sue AT&T, then all phone and internet providers can more easily get away with deceptive business practices. [More]
Amid recent reports of Verizon Wireless customers getting dinged on their phone bills with unexpected data overages, it may come as no surprise that the Federal Communications Commission has seen a spike in complaints related to the company. [More]
The FCC certainly is keeping busy this fall. After six months of mulling it over, commission chairman Tom Wheeler announced today that the final version of a privacy rule that would limit what your broadband carrier can do with your personal data is in fact real and on the agenda for the FCC’s October meeting later this month. [More]
The Federal Communications Commission has been stewing over a proposal that would shake up the cable set-top box market for months. They’ve got a vote on the final proposal coming up this week, but in the face of partisan bickering and opposition from the cable industry, the matter has become controversial. So today, a whole passel of folks called on the FCC to approve the measure ASAP, for consumers’ sake.
Election years beget a compressed Congressional schedule. The House and Senate just got back to work in D.C. after a six-week break, and will be taking another six-week break as soon as we hit October 1 (picking up again after the election), so everything the committees want to do has to get done now. Like bringing in all five FCC commissioners for another episode of everyone’s favorite series, The FCC Explains And Defends Literally Everything It’s Doing. [More]
Between the FCC’s efforts to reform the set-top box market and the cable industry’s thinly veiled threats of litigation — not to mention divided opinions on the issue on Capitol Hill — the old cable box is a big topic of conversation these days. And while much of the focus has been on the billions of dollars the cable and satellite companies make from monthly lease fees on these devices, we’d like to hear from people who have had to go toe-to-toe with their pay-TV provider over their set-top boxes. [More]
Within minutes of FCC Chair Tom Wheeler unveiling his final proposal for reforming the multibillion-dollar set-top box market, Comcast was already firing back, accusing the Commission of violating the law and hinting at a legal challenge to come. [More]
If you’re the wireless industry, you have to pay attention to the FCC. Everything it does determines everything you can do. So it’s not surprising that at the industry’s big annual event today, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler would take the stage for a keynote. And in that speech, he brought together a whole bunch of different FCC actions into one whole picture of what he hopes the communications future can be.
Early this year, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler put forth a proposal: how about doing away with those set-top boxes you’re required to rent, for lots of money, in order to watch pay-TV? After all, it’s 2016, surely we can do better? Naturally, the suggestion became an instant political football. But after seven months of working it out, the rumor mill says a compromise is on its way. [More]