frankieleon

FCC Fines Makers, Users Of Phone-Jamming Devices That Can Disrupt Cell, GPS Services

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]

Linda Flores

Carrier Must Pay $51M For Allegedly Defrauding Lifeline Program

The Federal Communications Commission plans to fine Total Call Mobile $51.1 million after alleging the carrier fraudulently collected payments from a program that subsidizes wireless service for low-income consumers.  [More]

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]

(Mike Mozart)/
(Mike Mozart)

Verizon, Sprint Customers Have Until Dec. 31 To Claim A Piece Of The $158M Cramming Settlement Pie

The holidays can be a tiring, stressful time, full of never-ending checklists. While you might have checked off plenty of your to-do items, if you’re a Verizon or Sprint customer, you’ll want to make sure you add “check to see if I’m eligible for a bill-cramming refund,” to the top of your list.  [More]

Verizon Wireless Asks FCC For Permission To Start Offering WiFi Calling

Verizon Wireless Asks FCC For Permission To Start Offering WiFi Calling

Not one to be left behind while the other major carriers are hanging out on the technology bandwagon, Verizon Wireless has asked the Federal Communications Commission for permission to enable WiFi calling on its network. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

AT&T Gets The Go-Ahead From FCC To Enable WiFi Calling For iPhones

After AT&T had to delay enabling WiFi calling on iPhones — a move it was expected to make, but didn’t, with the release of iOS 9 recently — the carrier is finally getting the go-ahead it needed from the Federal Communications Commission to roll out the feature to its customers. [More]

Jeepers Media

Sprint Stops Throttling Data Speeds As Net Neutrality Goes Into Effect

Net neutrality only became well and truly legal on June 12, and yet already the new rules are prompting change: Sprint stopped intermittently throttling data speeds for its heaviest wireless Internet users during busy times as of Friday, the same day the Federal Communications Commission’s net-neutrality rules went into effect. [More]

(Adam Reker)

FCC Fines CenturyLink $16M, Intrado Communications $1.4M For Actions During Massive 911 Outage

Last month the Federal Communications Commission ordered Verizon to pay $3.4 million for failing to alert authorities of a preventable programming error that left nearly 11 million people in seven states without access to emergency services for six hours in 2014. While Verizon’s fine was decidedly hefty, it pales in comparison to the $16 million penalty the agency just levied against CenturyLink for the same 911 outage. [More]

Jeepers Media

Verizon To Pay $3.4 Million For Not Notifying Officials Of Massive 911 Service Outage

In April 2014 nearly 11 million people in seven states lost access to emergency services when a software programming error resulted a six-hour long 911 outage. The Federal Communications Commission determined in October that the lengthy outage could have easily been prevented, and today the agency began placing the blame by fining Verizon $3.4 million for failing to alert authorities. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

FCC Proposes $640,000 Fine For AT&T’s Violation Of Airwave License Rules

If you don’t play by the Federal Communications Commission’s rules, then you’re likely going to get caught and have to pay a hefty fine. Just ask AT&T, which must pay $640,000 after violating rules and requirements for operating some airwave licenses. [More]

(Stephen Depolo)

FCC Fines ESPN, Viacom $1.4M For Improper Use Of Emergency Alert Tones

Hearing the emergency alert warning tones blaring from your television typically makes you take immediate notice (and immediately hit the Mute button). So when a broadcaster allows a commercial or program to air similar sounds without an actual emergency occurring, they could be on the receiving end of a pretty big fine from federal regulators. [More]

(Ron Dauphin)

T-Mobile Agrees To Pay $112.5M To Settle FTC Mobile-Cramming Lawsuit

Rounding out a week punctuated by new accusations of mobile carriers overcharging consumers using a practice known as “bill-cramming,” one past lawsuit is being put to rest. T-Mobile agreed today to shell-out at least $112.5 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit that the “Un-carrier” tacked-on unwanted third-party charges to customer’s bills. [More]

FCC Proposes Some Consumer Protections As They Inch Closer To Killing Off Copper Landlines

FCC Proposes Some Consumer Protections As They Inch Closer To Killing Off Copper Landlines

Phones are wireless, consumers are cutting back, and copper is expensive: all are reasons why the big phone companies want permission from the FCC to walk away from old-fashioned landline networks and to keep moving toward an internet-based future. The FCC tentatively agrees, and voted 3-2 today to take another baby step in the process that will end up making the nation’s century-old copper landline network obsolete. [More]

(Great Beyond)

FCC Pauses Review Of Both Media Mega-Mergers Because Content Companies Won’t Share Confidential Info

The slowly-turning wheel of the approvals process for two big media mergers has temporarily ground to a halt, as the FCC today announced delays in their reviews of both AT&T’s planned acquisition of DirecTV and also the Comcast/Time Warner Cable union. The delays in both proceedings stem from the same core issue: media content companies who don’t want their rivals to learn their secrets. [More]

FCC: Verizon To Pay $7.4M To Settle Consumer Privacy Investigation

FCC: Verizon To Pay $7.4M To Settle Consumer Privacy Investigation

Verizon is the now the owner of a title it probably would rather not have: the largest settlement related to the privacy of telephone customers’ personal information in Federal Communications Commission history. The not-so-great distinction comes as the company agreed to pay $7.4 million to settle allegations that it failed to notify millions of customers of their privacy rights before marketing services to them. [More]

Media Companies Afraid To Leave Public Comments Privately Tell FCC Why The Comcast/TWC Merger Stinks

Media Companies Afraid To Leave Public Comments Privately Tell FCC Why The Comcast/TWC Merger Stinks

Plenty of big companies have left lengthy public comments explaining their opposition to Comcast buying Time Warner Cable. Still, though, not everyone who is afraid of the potential consequences of the merger is able to go air their grievances publicly. Media organizations that usually love announcing their opinions to anyone and everyone have been suspiciously silent on the matter, perhaps, as Sen. Al Franken suggested, due to fears of retaliation from their largest business partner. But just because those companies aren’t filing public comments doesn’t mean that they’re in love with the merger, and they may be telling a very different story behind closed doors. [More]

Lawmakers Wade Into Fight Over FCC Chair’s Potential Plan To Overturn Bans On Municipal Broadband

Lawmakers Wade Into Fight Over FCC Chair’s Potential Plan To Overturn Bans On Municipal Broadband

Not very much happens in Washington, D.C. in August. But even as the city slows down, FCC chair Tom Wheeler continues to make strong noises about using the FCC’s authority to preempt state laws that prohibit the expansion or creation of municipal broadband utilities. And now, some members of Congress are joining him. [More]

Phone Company Routed 911 Calls To Automated Recording Telling Callers To Dial 911

Phone Company Routed 911 Calls To Automated Recording Telling Callers To Dial 911

Although consumers in some areas of the United States can now text message 911 in the event of an emergency, it’s always nice to know that calling a real, live human is still an option. Unless of course it isn’t, which was the case for residents of Caddo County, OK, for several months in 2013. [More]