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Sh4rp_i

How To Avoid Losing Money To The “Utility Company” Scam

When the weather outside is frightful, losing your heat or electricity is the last thing you want to have happened. But don’t let your fear of such an event push you into falling for a common scam perpetrated by fraudsters trying to pass themselves off as utility company employees on the phone. [More]

Great Beyond

New Chairman Orders FCC To Abandon Court Defense Of Rule Limiting Prison Phone Rates

Most of us stopped paying by-the-minute for phone calls years ago; a luxury that’s not available to the men and women in prison, where the few providers of phone service charge as much as $14/minute. The FCC’s efforts to cap these rates are currently being held up in court, and with a new business-friendly Chairman at the helm, the FCC has opted to not defend the very rules it came up with only 15 months ago. [More]

Joe M. O'Connell

Will New FCC Chief Undo Progress On Combating Robocalls?

You hate robocalls. We hate robocalls. Probably even our pets hate robocalls. They are a scourge on modern communications. Even new FCC Chair Ajit Pai hates these auto-dialed, pre-recorded nuisances, but his history on the subject has us wondering if he’ll continue the FCC’s work in curbing robocalls or give in to businesses who want to use them to sell us things. [More]

JKehoe_Photos

Small Cable Companies, Indie Networks Ask FCC To Force Channel Unbundling

As cable packages have ballooned in both volume and price over the years, a growing segment of consumers has demanded options for unbundled, choose-your-own-channels cable. So far, those cries have gone largely unheard, except for a few streaming, internet-based options. However, it seems the à la carte option has a growing fan base clamoring to be heard: small cable companies themselves. [More]

inajeep

Cable & Phone Industries Tell Congress To Reverse New Internet Privacy Rule

Last fall, the FCC approved a new rule detailing internet service providers can and can’t gather and use your information. The affected industries cried “unfair!” and now, with a new business-friendly FCC Chairman and White House, they are calling on Congress to make this pesky privacy rule go away. [More]

geetargeek

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]