Two months ago, Rep. Jackie Speier (CA) introduced the ROBOCOP Act, a bill that would compel phone service providers to finally make it easier for customers to block automated and prerecorded robocalls. With that bill sitting idly in committee — and executives like AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson incorrectly claiming they need permission to deploy robo-blockers — maybe it’s time for ROBOCOP 2: The Senate Version. [More]
On his personal phone line, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson blocks unwanted, pre-recorded and auto-dialed robocalls. So why is Darth Randy not making this technology available for all of his customers? He claims it’s because he needs the FCC’s permission to do so, but the FCC says that just isn’t so. [More]
If you’re thinking of using a phone-jamming device to shut up your fellow motorists and get them off their phones while driving, think again: the Federal Communications Commission could hit you with fines, and could fine the company that sold you the gadget as well. [More]
Now that the government has carved out a loophole allowing it to place automated and/or pre-recorded robocalls to consumers to collect any debts owed to the federal government, the FCC is trying to come up with robocall rules that aren’t entirely awful. Consumers have a short window of time to chime in on these rules, so here’s how to share your feelings with the FCC. [More]
After the FCC gave its blessing to the marriage of Time Warner Cable and Charter, the only thing standing in the way of marital bliss was the possibility that the California Public Utilities Commission might go full drunk-uncle and raise a boatload of objections before the final “I do”s. However, today the CPUC decided instead to raise a toast to the mega-merger.
A couple weeks back, both the FCC and the Justice Department made it clear that they were not going to challenge the massive merger of Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications (and the third wheel of the merger á trois Bright House) after putting some conditions on the deal. Today, the FCC officially confirmed that it has given its blessing to this marriage of inconvenience. [More]
Last fall, a rider to a must-pass federal budget bill kicked down the barricade that has prevented government debt collectors from annoying hundreds of millions of consumers with auto-dialed, pre-recorded robocalls. Lawmakers hate the bill, but they won’t consider any legislation to close the loophole. The White House’s own analysis of the loophole shows that it won’t really bring in any more money, and could actually be a revenue loser, but the administration isn’t doing anything to roll back the changes. Attorneys general hate it too, but they enforce laws instead of writing them. With an August deadline looming, the Federal Communications Commission has no choice but to move forward with making the loophole as palatable as possible. [More]
When the FCC voted in February to consider new rules for your cable box, that kicked off a multi-month cycle of public comments, where anyone and everyone can have their say. The deadline for the first round struck at midnight Friday, which means most of the comments are just rolling onto the internet for all and sundry to have a look at.
Earlier today — almost exactly a year after rejecting the merger of Time Warner Cable and Comcast — both the FCC and the Justice Department gave their blessing to the marriage of TWC and Charter. But what does that really mean for the millions of consumers who will be affected by the merger? [More]
Yesterday, only weeks after the FCC voted to draft rules that would require pay-TV companies to open up the set-top box market to competitors, Comcast announced a deal with Samsung that will allow owners of certain TVs to access their cable TV without the need to pay for a cable box every month. The industry and its supporters are heralding the news as a clear demonstration that the FCC should just shut up and stop all its regulating, but the reports of the set-top box’s death are greatly exaggerated. [More]
The House of Representatives passed a bill this morning that seeks to limit the FCC’s net neutrality authority and could limit the commission’s ability to investigate consumer complaints about unreasonable charges from and behavior by their ISPs.
As we’ve shown before, wireless and landline phone companies can do something to provide customers with free and easy-to-use tools to block unwanted automated calls — they just aren’t doing it, even when hundreds of thousands of consumers explicitly ask them to. A new piece of legislation introduced today hopes to compel the telecom providers to finally make it easier for customers to just say no to robocalls. [More]
It may seem like Congress never gets anything done, but sometimes they really do! Case in point: a bill, sponsored by lawmakers who are still angry about the FCC’s net neutrality ruling last year, has managed to come out of committee and is scheduled for a House vote. And should the House and Senate both vote on that bill, it will go to the White House… where the president’s top advisors recommend it promptly be vetoed.