The Federal Communications Commission today in their monthly meeting voted narrowly to move forward with two high-profile, contentious proposals. One is formally adopting a plan to modernize the Lifeline program, and the other is to start considering how to apply stronger consumer privacy protections to ISPs.
Later this week, the Federal Communications Commission will be voting on a proposal intended to protect some of your personal data from being shared by your Internet service provider, by requiring that the ISP first get your permission. As the vote approaches, the broadband industry is trying to make the case that your ISP’s collecting and sharing of customer data is no different than Facebook or Google’s. [More]
The core tenet of “net neutrality” is that Internet service providers — the Comcasts, Time Warner Cables, and Verizons of the world — can’t do anything to block, limit, or expedite users’ access to content. Regardless of whether it’s a video stream or a PDF, these carriers should be delivering the content as quickly as they advertise. And even though the cable industry is currently fighting net neutrality in court, it apparently has no understanding of that basic underlying principle. [More]
The Comcast-connected faux grassroots group created to protect the cable industry’s $20 billion annual revenue stream of set-top box rental fees is now claiming that it caught FCC Chair Tom Wheeler in a real “gotcha” moment, proving that there is indeed no need for competition on these devices. But either this group has no idea what it’s talking about, or it thinks the American consumer is incredibly gullible. [More]
Agencies like the FCC operate under the auspices of Congress, which has oversight authority. And when an agency like the FCC touches a political third rail — in their case, regulation of powerful communications companies — they can expect to have to answer to Congress. Sometimes repeatedly. And so the FCC found itself on Capitol Hill today, being grilled by a panel of passionate Representatives.
Verizon is at it again: with a ruling on net neutrality likely to show up in the next few weeks, they are falling all over themselves to talk about how much they love net neutrality and what it protects, while explaining that they hate the rule that’s been put in place to protect net neutrality, and think it could ruin everything.
More than a year after the FCC voted to preempt state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that heavily restrict city- and county-owned utilities from providing broadband to consumers, the states and the federal regulator finally had their day in court. [More]
What Comcast spent more than a year failing to do looks to be a victory in the making for Charter: As the Washington rumor mill has it, the three-way mega-cable-merge of Charter, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks could get through a major hurdle and gain approval by the end of the week. In other words, it looks like this one’s going to happen.
U.S. pay-TV companies rake in an estimated $20 billion a year in rental/lease fees for set-top boxes, but the FCC’s recent decision to draft rules to increase competition in the set-top box market could put that dependable revenue stream at risk. But one analyst says that if cable companies lose money from competing devices, they’ll just make up for it by charging more for TV. [More]
There’s a reason they call this century the information age: everything is data, data, data. And today, the FCC announced a proposal that would regulate how ISPs — over which all that data flows — have to get your permission to collect and share all that juicy, valuable information.
Internet access is a necessity, but it’s also kind of a luxury: the poorer you are, the less likely you are to be able to have it. Even while, to keep living in the always-on, always-connected world of the 21st century, you really need it.
Since June, 2015, net neutrality — or specifically, the FCC’s Open Internet Rule — has been the law of the land. While the rule is a win for consumers, plenty of businesses and politicians still don’t care for it, to say the least. So while the court challenge against it takes its own sweet time to mosey through the judicial system, opponents are taking another approach. What’s the best way to undo a law you hate? Get a new law.
Google hasn’t even decided whether or not it will bring its high-speed Fiber broadband and TV service to Louisville. The Kentucky city is currently listed as merely a “potential” Fiber market. But that hasn’t stopped AT&T from suing Louisville administrators in an effort to make sure that Google will have a tougher time if it chooses to launch there. [More]