Divided FCC Votes To Approve Lifeline Modernization, Consider New ISP Privacy Rules

Jason Cook

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.

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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.

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State Attorney General Wants To Know If New Yorkers Are Actually Getting The Broadband They Pay For

State Attorney General Wants To Know If New Yorkers Are Actually Getting The Broadband They Pay For

It’s a pretty basic tenet of American commerce: if someone advertises something to you at a certain price, they actually have to provide you that thing at that price. Like, for example, a broadband internet connection: if a company like Verizon, Cablevision, or Time Warner Cable says it will give you a connection of a certain speed, it’s supposed to make good. But in one sate, the top legal office thinks the ISPs may not be making good on their claims, and wants to know what’s up.

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Is Your ISP Not Following Net Neutrality? The FCC’s Got A Complaint Form For That.

Is Your ISP Not Following Net Neutrality? The FCC’s Got A Complaint Form For That.

Hooray! Net neutrality is finally, well and truly, the law. The courts did not uphold industry groups’ requests to press pause on the implementation, and so as of right now, ISPs are common carriers under Title II and are not allowed to mess around with your connections.

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frankieleon

Ting Mobile Buys ISP, Will Provide Gigabit Internet To Virginia College Town

Charlottesville, Virginia is home to the University of Virginia, and also to Blue Ridge InternetWorks, an independent Internet service provider that has been working to fiber up the college town with gigabit Internet access. Ting, a company that we know as a discount mobile carrier, announced this week that it will buy the small ISP to enter the gigabit-capable broadband biz. [More]

(Sh4rp_i)

Get Past Executive Customer Service Gatekeepers With Letter-Writing 101

As items in our mailbox go, April’s story is pretty mundane. She returned her broadband modem to her Internet service provider five months ago, and they caught up with her and…sent her to a collection company. No one believed April that she had returned the modem. What could she do? Write to the CEO, that’s what. [More]

(frankieleon)

Are You Okay With Comcast Sharing Your Home Wi-Fi With Everyone?

As a child, how were you at sharing your toys with other kids, friends and strangers alike? If you rent Xfinity equipment from Comcast, you’re going to have to share your toys–and by “toys” we mean “wireless router”–with everyone in Kabletown. Understandably, some people do not like this idea. [More]

(Extremely Decent Films)

Here’s The Most Honest Cable Commercial You Will Ever See

If you’ve ever felt like cable company ads are leaving something out––so, if you have a functioning brain––this parody ad is for you. At least we assume it’s a parody ad.

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Charter Ends Twitter And Facebook Customer Support

Charter Ends Twitter And Facebook Customer Support

People who are unable to get help from Charter’s regular customer service have always had another, social media-riffic option: contacting the dedicated Facebook and Twitter representatives. We’ve heard pretty good things about Team Twitter over at Charter, which is why we’re very sad to hear that they’re killing off the helpful accounts and re-assigning all of the team members. [More]

FCC: Internet Service Providers Are Actually Delivering The Speeds They Promise

FCC: Internet Service Providers Are Actually Delivering The Speeds They Promise

Internet service providers take your money and promise to send you speeding along an information superhighway, dangling the carrot of fast connection times to get your business. And according to an annual report card by the Federal Communications Commission, while Verizon and Cablevision are the leaders in providing advertised speeds, it seems most ISPs are getting better at being more consistent on delivering the goods as well.

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If CenturyLink Had Competent Web Developers, They Could Have My Money

If CenturyLink Had Competent Web Developers, They Could Have My Money

Daniel has had it with his ISP, CenturyLink. If you don’t live in their service area, you may still recognize the company’s name, since they were a contender for Worst Company in America 2012, knocked out in the first round. But not going all the way in the tournament doesn’t mean that CenturyLink/Qwest customers are all satisfied. Daniel, for one, couldn’t pay his bill online because the company’s website wouldn’t work. Isn’t everyone trying to push customers toward online bill pay, not away from it?

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Why Does My Internet Connection Take A Daily Afternoon Siesta?

Why Does My Internet Connection Take A Daily Afternoon Siesta?

Three hours. That’s how long Nate’s Internet connection goes out for, every day except Saturday. He has no idea why. His Internet service provider, Charter, has no idea why. All Charter is able to do is send technician after technician to check out the problem, replace hardware, and ultimately not solve the problem.

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Cosigning Someone's Comcast Account Doesn't Mean Paying Their Bills Instead Of My Own

Cosigning Someone's Comcast Account Doesn't Mean Paying Their Bills Instead Of My Own

Helpful and supportive person that she is, Isis is a co-signer on her goddaughter’s Comcast account so her goddaughter wouldn’t have to pay a deposit. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem unless the youngster defaulted on her payments or ran off with a half-dozen cable boxes. The problem is that the act somehow tied together her account and Isis’s, and a $435 payment was applied to the goddaughter’s account by mistake. This has led to biweekly disconnections, fruitless promises by Comcast employees to take care of the situation, and an existential question: does Isis have two accounts, or only one?

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Cat Naps On Router, ISP Provides Decoy Router In Exchange For Cat Pictures

Cat Naps On Router, ISP Provides Decoy Router In Exchange For Cat Pictures

Liam lives in England and has a cat. As all people owned by cats know, warm, feline-posterior-sized electronic devices are irresistible to cats worldwide, and the DSL modem/router thingy provided by his Internet service provider, Be, is no exception. The problem is that this particular router doesn’t work very well with a cat on top of it. He made a joking forum post that featured a photo of his cat communing with the router and pleaded for a decoy router so he could keep his cat happy but also have functional Internet. Astonishingly…. the company complied. But only if he sent them more pictures of his cat.

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Someone Needs To Tell Mediacom The Definition Of 'Paperless'

Someone Needs To Tell Mediacom The Definition Of 'Paperless'

It’s all very green and forward-thinking of Mediacom to offer a $1 credit for customers who use paperless billing, but Tim wonders why they had to mail him a paper statement informing him that he is getting this discount.

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Verizon Loses FiOS Equipment, Sends You To Collections

Verizon Loses FiOS Equipment, Sends You To Collections

Leon liked Verizon’s FiOS service when he had it. It wasn’t until he moved and sent his equipment back that he had any problems with them. He sent his router and CableCard back via UPS, and the card was taped to the side of the router. Verizon received the router, but the CableCard is still missing. “I have visions of the router at some new customer’s house with the cablecard still taped to it,” he writes.

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Hundreds Of Hours On The Phone With AT&T Still Haven't Solved My Problem

Hundreds Of Hours On The Phone With AT&T Still Haven't Solved My Problem

Gerald would like something very simple: he would like to connect to an FTP server. He knows that it’s not completely blacklisted: he can get to it using an AT&T business-class connection. He’s even narrowed down precisely what the problem is. He just can’t find anyone at the company capable of helping him, and he’s found the online help groups to be an utter waste of time.

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Three Weeks Without Internet Access: No Hurry From Time Warner, And No Credits

Three Weeks Without Internet Access: No Hurry From Time Warner, And No Credits

In the six years she’s lived in her current apartment, Kate hasn’t had any major problems with Time Warner. Now Her Internet access has been out since the beginning of September, despite a modem replacement. They’re sort of giving her a whole decade’s worth of major problems all in one go. When Kate mentioned that she needs Internet access to look for jobs, one rep helpfully suggested that she change providers.

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