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]
FCC Chair To Trump Administration: Putting Industry’s Wants Over Public Interest Would Be A “Real Mistake”
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]
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.
Last year, when the FCC was preparing to vote on the new Open Internet Order (aka “net neutrality”) and its reclassification of broadband Internet as a vital utility, virtually the entire telecom and cable industry claimed this change would ruin investment and slow innovation. But a look at the year-end financial figures for the biggest naysayers casts a lot of doubt on these dire predictions. [More]