When businesses, consumer advocates, and government reports all say that the use of mobile data is skyrocketing, they aren’t kidding. An annual survey of the wireless industry shows that we are using more mobile everything, all the time, everywhere — and that the trend shows no signs of slowing down.
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.
It’s the FCC’s job to determine if broadband internet service is reaching enough people, quickly enough and competitively enough. To make that determination, every year they issue a report looking at the current state of broadband and how it’s changed. But broadband isn’t about wires anymore; it’s about wireless data and how quickly that moves (or doesn’t), too. And so the commission is considering a big change to their standards for the next go-around — one that would take a hard look at your cell service, too.
Merger-mad Comcast and Time Warner Cable would have you believe that they are in direct competition with mobile broadband. And Verizon has successfully misled the state of New Jersey into thinking that accessing the web on your phone is the same as having a high-speed data connection to your home. Both of these conceits may someday be accurate, but the reality of the here-and-now is quite different. [More]
Comcast Officially Files for TWC Merger, Claims Broadband Competition Is Fine Because You Have A Smartphone
It’s a big day for Comcast: not only did they win a big old golden poo this morning, but also they formally took the first step in the regulatory dance that stands between them and their purchase of Time Warner Cable by filing a mountain of paperwork with the FCC. The massive document contains all of Comcast’s explanations for why the merger is the best idea ever… and it’s a doozy. Let’s take a closer look at their arguments, shall we?
In an effort to include more wireless data in its periodic reports on the state of broadband in America, the Federal Communications Commission has released an Android app that lets consumers test the speed and quality of their wireless provider (and of course shares that data with the FCC). [More]
Last week, Hurricane Sandy flooded and took out power in many areas of the Northeast. Compared to the devastation in other areas, damage in Philadelphia was pretty minimal. Dorothy is lucky, considering. What she can’t understand, though, is why her mobile broadband device from Virgin Mobile will be down until Saturday, November 10. [More]
For two years now, the Federal Communications Commission has been looking at terrestrial broadband services to see which DSL/cable/fiber/string-and-cans providers are actually delivering the speeds they promise. So it only makes sense for the FCC to start looking at just how quickly U.S. consumers are able to download data over mobile networks. Unfortunately, the federal government still moves at the speed of a crappy dial-up line.
While Sprint continues — for now — to offer smartphone users unlimited data plans without overage charges or throttling, the company has announced that customers with unlimited 4G plans for mobile broadband and mobile hotspot devices will have very definite limits starting in November.
Scott tried to do a nice thing and buy a low-cost, low-bandwidth mobile Internet plan for his mother. Unfortunately, there’s some confusion between Virgin and Walmart, and the plan that Scott thought he was buying has disappeared into a reality vortex. One where customer service reps insist that he purchased the item from Walmart.com when he didn’t.
In a recent Sunday ad, Best Buy pimped Best Buy Connect, its upcoming mobile internet service.
Yesterday the FCC announced new, expanded rules enforcing net neutrality, and they’ve set aside the next 60 days for public debate. Get ready to hear all sorts of creative end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it arguments from opponents like AT&T. We’ve checked out the official document (pdf) and below we summarize the changes that are open to public discussion for the next two months.
Krystyl signed up for Sprint’s $59.99 unlimited Mobile Broadband plan and isn’t sure why she just received a bill for $14,062.27.