Next week, Tom Wheeler will step down as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission after three years, during which the FCC issued the 2015 Open Internet Order (aka Net Neutrality), making internet service providers and wireless companies more accountable. While the incoming Trump administration has not yet nominated Wheeler’s replacement, all indications are that the new-look FCC will seek to undo much of the current Commission’s work. This morning, Wheeler made his final argument against taking a sledgehammer to everything he’s accomplished. [More]
It’s no secret that the incoming administration is pretty keen on gutting the 2015 Open Internet rule (aka, net neutrality) as soon as it gets a chance. But while there might be new leadership at the FCC in just over two weeks, the rules of process still apply. There’s no magic “remove it” wand for folks opposed to net neutrality to wave; there’s just the long, slow road of petitions, hearings, and evidence, which has formally kicked off this week. [More]
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler — the former frontman for both the cable and wireless industries who has recently pushed the Commission into new, controversial areas of regulation that clash with the apparent goals of the incoming Trump administration — has confirmed his plans to step down after the President-elect gets the keys to the Oval Office. [More]
When the FCC finalized its new “net neutrality” rules in 2015, adding more regulatory control over broadband data services, the cable industry freaked out. Its biggest player, Comcast, claimed at the time that the federal oversight would be counterproductive, ineffective, and unlawful. Fast forward to present day, and one Comcast executive is admitting that these changes haven’t really had any effect on business. [More]
The FCC has approved a significant number of major pro-consumer rules in the last few years. Most, however, were contentious within the Commission, and passed on a 3-2 margin. One of the two reliable dissenters, commissioner Ajit Pai, is now on deck as the likely inheritor of the Chairman’s seat when President-Elect Donald Trump’s administration comes to power in January — and he’s already hoping to do away with some of the FCC’s recent rules. [More]
In the two weeks since being named president-elect, Donald Trump has already named a handful of nominees to key positions and expanded his transition team to help determine who should fill in those other spots, and what policies will guide them. Based on the backgrounds of the two men heading up the FCC transition efforts, some of the Commission’s recent efforts will likely be rolled back, and the FCC’s entire role may be reconsidered. [More]
This morning, the FCC was supposed to consider a number of items during its monthly open meeting, but yesterday afternoon the Commission suddenly deleted almost everything from the agenda, including matters related to expansion of wireless broadband networks, standardized roaming on wireless, competition in business data services, and requirements on accessibility to certain programming to visually impaired Americans. After today’s brief meeting, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler spoke publicly about why these items were removed, and indirectly called on President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration to put consumer protection before the desires of the telecom, pay-TV, and wireless industries. [More]
In August, an appeals court threw out the Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit against AT&T over the way it marketed its “unlimited” data plans (which were anything but unlimited). Now the FTC is taking its case up the legal ladder, making the case that if it’s not allowed to sue AT&T, then all phone and internet providers can more easily get away with deceptive business practices. [More]
The metaphorical ink on today’s mammoth 184-page ruling upholding net neutrality was barely even dry before everyone with a stake in the matter came out swinging with statements. And while the decision earned praise from consumer advocates and some lawmakers, the telecom industry has vowed to continue the fight.
More than two years after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit sided with Verizon against the FCC over the original “net neutrality” rules, that same court today has ruled in favor of the FCC’s revised rules that regulate broadband internet access as a necessary utility, instead of as a luxury. [More]
The House of Representatives passed a bill this morning that seeks to limit the FCC’s net neutrality authority and could limit the commission’s ability to investigate consumer complaints about unreasonable charges from and behavior by their ISPs.
It may seem like Congress never gets anything done, but sometimes they really do! Case in point: a bill, sponsored by lawmakers who are still angry about the FCC’s net neutrality ruling last year, has managed to come out of committee and is scheduled for a House vote. And should the House and Senate both vote on that bill, it will go to the White House… where the president’s top advisors recommend it promptly be vetoed.
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]
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.
Remember all those years ago, when YouTube publicly railed against T-Mobile’s Binge On program, saying the wireless company may have violated FCC rules by throttling all video traffic? And then it led to a war of words, culminating in the T-Mobile CEO cursing out his critics on Twitter and accusing the Electronic Frontier Foundation of taking money from his competition? That was only a matter of weeks ago, but it’s all water under the bridge because YouTube has agreed to be part of Binge On after T-Mo made changes to give content companies more control over streaming quality. [More]