(Steven Depolo)

Analyst: If Cable Companies Lose Set-Top Box Money, They’ll Just Charge More For TV

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]

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler speaking in 2014. (FCC)

FCC To Consider Rules That Would Make ISPs Get Permission To Share Your Personal Info

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.



FCC Announces Official Lifeline Modernization Proposal, Will Vote On It This Month

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.


(Rick Drew)

Court Delays Some FCC Efforts To Lower Costs For Prisoners’ Phone Calls

Last fall, a new FCC order sought to reduce the often sky-high prices that prisoners must pay for making phone calls. Those changes were to start kicking in over the coming weeks and months, but today a federal appeals court delayed some reforms while allowing others to move forward. [More]

Mike Mozart

Verizon, FCC Settle “Supercookie” Investigation With $1.35M Fine And Opt-Out Ability

In 2014 and 2015, Verizon caught a lot of attention for doing a couple of very sneaky things. One, they were inserting a little piece of code into all the web traffic on your phone to track your every digital move for advertising purposes. And two, they weren’t letting you opt-out of the tracking, even if you opted out of the ads.


Senators Once Again Introduce Bill To Try To Stop FCC And Net Neutrality

Senators Once Again Introduce Bill To Try To Stop FCC And Net Neutrality

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.



Net Neutrality Is A Year Old Today. What’s Changed, What Hasn’t, And Where Does It Stand?

Happy birthday, net neutrality! A year ago today, after a long and contentious process, the FCC formally adopted the Open Internet Rule, reclassifying broadband internet as a Title II communications service and creating bright-line rules to protect consumers’ and businesses’ access to the internet.



AT&T Sues Louisville To Make City Less Attractive To Google Fiber

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]


FCC Votes To Increase Competition For Set-Top Box Market

The FCC voted today to consider chairman Tom Wheeler’s new proposal for shaking up the set-top box market by, well, creating an actual competitive market that consumers have the option to use.



Comcast-Connected “Grassroots” Effort Claims Set-Top Box Competition Will Harm Diversity

With the FCC prepping to vote on new rules that aim to break up cable companies’ monopolies on set-top boxes, the pay-TV industry is fighting back with an astroturfing campaign that tries to make the case that having more choices in set-top boxes will somehow harm diversity in TV programming. [More]


Senators Ask Why Cable Companies Continue Charging Customers For Modems They Don’t Have

We regularly hear from readers that their cable company — often Comcast — is charging them rental fees for equipment they either never owned or have already returned. A group of six U.S. lawmakers are calling on the FCC to look into this problem of consumers who face fees for phantom modems and other devices. [More]


4 Reasons Tribal Lands Lack Better Access To The Internet

According to the latest data from the FCC, more than two-thirds of people living in rural tribal lands currently lack access to decent Internet, nearly 30 percentage points higher than the rate for the rest of rural America. So what is it about these tribal lands that makes connecting so difficult? [More]

Stanford Law Professor: T-Mobile’s ‘Binge On’ Violates Net Neutrality Rules

Stanford Law Professor: T-Mobile’s ‘Binge On’ Violates Net Neutrality Rules

Last fall, T-Mobile introduced Binge On, an optional program that lets users stream certain video streams without counting the data against their monthly allotments. YouTube and others have accused the company of throttling data in order to make this happen, and a new report from Stanford University claims that T-Mo’s actions are in violation of federal “net neutrality” rules. [More]


In Comcast Country, Set-Top Box Competition Will Hurt Innovation, Raise Prices

Earlier this week, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler proposed new rules intended to increase competition in the pay-TV set-top box market. Rather than paying hundreds of dollars a year to your cable company for a device you can’t get anywhere else, the idea is that you would be able to buy your own box and save money in the long run. Amazing, Comcast — which stands to potentially lose billions of dollars if this happens — is crying foul. [More]


How The FCC Hopes To Make Set-Top Boxes More Affordable

As expected, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has proposed new rules intended to make the set-top box market more competitive and offer consumers more choices. Now we have some details on how he hopes to actually accomplish this goal. [More]

FCC Expected To Require More Choices For Cable Set-Top Boxes

FCC Expected To Require More Choices For Cable Set-Top Boxes

Groups Ask FCC To Reform Set-Top Box Market, Say New Rules Could Save Consumers Billions Every Year

Groups Ask FCC To Reform Set-Top Box Market, Say New Rules Could Save Consumers Billions Every Year

While the cable industry hasn’t fessed up to how much it makes leasing set-top boxes to their customers, in July, lawmakers crunched some numbers and found that it could be a $20 billion industry, with consumers paying up to $232 every year on that equipment. Two advocacy groups are now asking the Federal Communications Commission to begin a rulemaking proceeding to reform the video set-top box market, saying cable and pay-TV companies are overcharging consumers by $6 billion to $14 billion annually. [More]

Verizon Finally Catches Up To T-Mobile, AT&T; Launches Program To Free Up More Data For Mobile Subscribers

Verizon Finally Catches Up To T-Mobile, AT&T; Launches Program To Free Up More Data For Mobile Subscribers

Last month, executives with Verizon said the company would one day test sponsored data. That day is apparently today, as the largest wireless provider in the U.S. launched FreeBee Data, its version of T-Mobile and AT&T’s programs that don’t ding users’ data plans when they access certain content. [More]