fcc

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]

C x 2

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]

frankieleon

FCC: No, Our Rules Are Not An Excuse For AT&T To Block Google Fiber In Louisville

Despite recently putting many Fiber plans on hold, there’s still a decent chance Google might bring its high-speed internet service to Louisville. And where there’s the possibility of competition, lawsuits arrive to stop it. Some of those complaints invoke the FCC, but the Commission has now chimed in — and it’s saying, basically: Hey, not so fast! Leave us out of this; you’re on your own. [More]

After 60 Days, What Has The “Robocall Strike Force” Accomplished?

After 60 Days, What Has The “Robocall Strike Force” Accomplished?

Two months ago, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson accepted the challenge of FCC Chair Tom Wheeler to head up an industry-led “Strike Force” to finally do something meaningful to curb unwanted, often illegal, robocalls, and to give consumers free tools they can use to try to block these calls. The team was given 60 days to get this ship headed in the right direction, and now that time has passed a verdict is in: Much was accomplished, but consumers still don’t have the tools they need. [More]

Jason Cook

FCC To Propose Rules That Could Restore Consumers’ Right To Sue Phone, Broadband Providers

While the big headline of this morning’s monthly FCC meeting was the release of the Commission’s final rules on broadband privacy, the agency’s leadership also let it be known that it’s planning to take on one of the industry’s most controversial issues: The right of consumers to have their day in court. [More]

FCC

FCC Adopts New Privacy Rule Limiting What ISPs Can Do With Your Personal Data

Privacy is a complicated thing, especially online. While we all know companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon — edge providers, in the parlance of regulators — collect and use our data, fewer of us think about how much the owners of the metaphorical pipes can see passing through them. So to that end, the FCC voted today to adopt rules designed to limit how much of internet subscribers’ data ISPs can sell, share, and trade, and to let customers have some more control over the uses of their personal information. [More]

Why AT&T Is Buying Time Warner, And Why So Many People Aren’t Happy About It

Why AT&T Is Buying Time Warner, And Why So Many People Aren’t Happy About It

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]

Consumer Reports

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler Talks Privacy, 5G & Set-Top Box Reform

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]

T-Mobile Will Pay $48M To Close FCC Investigation Into Limits On “Unlimited” Data Plans

T-Mobile Will Pay $48M To Close FCC Investigation Into Limits On “Unlimited” Data Plans

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]

jetsetpress

If FTC Can’t Resurrect Lawsuit Over AT&T’s “Unlimited” Data, Telecoms May Be Even More Untouchable

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]

Mike Mozart

Amid Reports Of Billing Issues, FCC Sees Spike In Verizon Wireless Complaints

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]

YayAdrian

Comcast Fined $2.3 Million For Charging Customers For Equipment, Services They Never Ordered

Comcast has agreed to pay a $2.3 million fine to the Federal Communications Commission to settle an investigation into allegations that the cable colossus charged customers for services and equipment they never ordered. [More]

Chris Blakeley

Final FCC Privacy Rule Won’t Ban Pay-For-Privacy, Will Require Some Opt-Ins

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]

geetargeek

FCC Delays Vote On Set-Top Box Proposal

After much hullaballoo and a number of eleventh-hour political plays, the FCC has scrapped its plan to vote today on a proposal that would upend the cable set-top box marketplace. [More]

Brad Clinesmith

Ahead Of Tomorrow’s Vote, Several Senators Urge FCC To Approve Set-Top Box Plan

Tomorrow, at its monthly open meeting, the FCC will be voting on the most controversial rule it’s undertaken this year: whether, and how, to let consumers get out of paying their cable company a fee every month for mandatory set-top boxes.

[More]

Scott W. Vincent

Listen To This Creepy Robocall & See Why 750K People Want Free Robo-Blocking Tools

As if auto-dialed, pre-recorded robocalls weren’t bad enough, scammers are now blasting out robocalls that use poorly synthesized text-to-talk programs in an effort to try to frighten people into thinking they are being sued. [More]

Ryusaisei

Advocates, Lawmakers, Even Best Buy Call On FCC To Approve Cable Box Plan

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.

[More]

Library of Congress

How Much Control Do You Actually Have Over Your Private Data?

“Privacy” is the buzz of our era, but… what even is privacy? Different consumers, businesses, and regulators each have their own definitions and perspectives on the issue, while the law, too, is always evolving. [More]