Items tagged with FCC

Samsung still isn't coming clean with a release date for the new and improved Galaxy Tab 10.1, but we have a pretty good indication that it'll be shipping sooner rather than later. Why? Because the GT-P7310 just landed in the FCC. If you aren't familiar with the process of FCC clearance, it generally works as such. A product that clears the FCC and winds up published in the database is usually on track for a near-term release in the U.S. Combined with the fact that Samsung previously mentioned a "June" release date for the Tab 10.1, and things seem to be lining up well to have this super-sleek tablet in the hands of consumers soon. The Tab 10.1 has an interesting story. The original Tab 10.1... Read more...
In a development that's glad news for any AT&T customer stuck with the company's new 150GB broadband cap, the New America Foundation and the Public Knowledge group have jointly asked the FCC to examine data caps. While they admit that such caps are not prima facie evidence of monopolistic abuse, they note: "they [broadband caps] carry the omnipresent temptation to act in an anticompetitive and monopolistic ways. Unless they are clearly and transparently justified to address legitimate network capacity concerns, caps can work directly against the promise of broadband access." AT&T comes under particular fire. "Unlike competitors, whose caps appear to be at least nominally linked to congestions... Read more...
The world belongs to the airwaves, and we're just breathing it all in. Or something like that. The FCC has been trying to figure out what to do with wireless spectrum for a few years now, first ushering in the analog-to-digital TV transition and then auctioning off unused 700MHz wireless spectrum. But now, the agency is saying that they need authority to "hold incentive auctions that would compensate television broadcasters for giving up some of their spectrum to wireless companies." The issue at stake is simple: the FCC sees a looming bandwidth crisis, and they are suggesting that some of the US airwaves used for free OTA TV signals must be "repurposed for mobile broadband." FCC Chairman Julius... Read more...
The Canadian ISP, Rogers Communications, admitted yesterday that it throttles games like World of Warcraft in its bid to maintain QoS for all customers. The issue came to light when a Rogers subscriber filed a complaint against the company in February. The author details why she believes Rogers is filtering WoW via deep packet inspection , noting, for example, that running a VPN (Virtual Private Network) prevents players from being kicked out of game randomly. The complaint then discusses the available evidence that points back to improper throttling on Roger's part. Rogers employees on their own forums have been stating that these games use P2P to run, which is why they're being throttled, and... Read more...
Last week, the FAA announced that there were a record number of "laser events" in 2010. What the FAA means by that, there was a record number of idiots who think it's funny to potentially temporarily blind a pilot with a laser pointer or even some high-powered laser device. The FAA created a formal reporting system for laser events in 2005. Reports nearly double from 2009 to 2010, with 1,527 and 2,836 events, respectively. In the first year for formal reporting, 2005, there were only 300 events. The top 10 airports in terms of laser events are: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 102 Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) 98 Phoenix/Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) 80 San... Read more...
Here's a surprise: Verizon isn't too fond of the FCC's Net Neutrality order. Actually, that isn't too much of a surprise. Many ISPs, cellphone carriers and other operators in this space are very hesitant to jump onboard the FCC's latest train, as any additional regulation and oversight into their industry could mean less control for how they conduct their own business. Verizon is in a very interesting position, though. Unlike many other carriers, Verizon has ties to a home-based Internet service (FiOS) as well as 3G and 4G wireless networks through Verizon Wireless. So the Net Neutrality order definitely touches nearly every major aspect of this company. This week, Verizon actually went so far... Read more...
Thanks to documents posted over at the Federal Communications Commission's website, we now have a sneak peek at Dell's upcoming Looking Glass tablet. The documents cover the testing of the tablet to ensure the device complies with various regulations. Although we certainly can't get every detail about the tablet from the documents, they do provide a sneak peek at what users should be able to expect from Dell. For starters, the Looking Glass is an Android-powered tablet with a 7-inch widescreen display. It will support 802.11n Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth 2.1 wireless networking and GSM 3G mobile data services. With GSM support, this tablet is likely headed to AT&T and T-Mobile as well as international... Read more...
We have to believe that most of the suits in Washington, D.C. were in a hurry to get back home for the holidays, but an FCC ruling was able to be hammered out just before the Christmas break. Net neutrality has been one of the biggest issues in the FCC circle this year, along with rural broadband. As the Internet has grown, so has concern that ISPs may have too much power over their users. Earlier in the year, Comcast was chided for "throttling users" that were transferring peer-to-peer applications, which led to a heated debate over what an Internet service provided can and cannot do to a user's bandwidth. Net neutrality is a huge, tangled issue. There are fierce debates ongoing on both sides,... Read more...
Yesterday, a sharply divided FCC voted to 3 to 2 to approve new Net Neutrality rules. The vote went down as expected with Democrats voting in favor of rules intended to prevent broadband service providers from blocking content, and Republicans opposed, claiming that such rules are an unjustifiable (and potentially illegal) power grab by the FCC. The rules were not the hard-and-fast protection of content and Internet access that Net Neutrality advocates wanted to see, but a compromise. They include vaguely-worded wiggle room for broadband pipe owners and sidestepped rules for mobile broadband (3G and 4G). The word "reasonable" is the problem, i.e. the FCC rule regarding blocking content states,... Read more...
Verizon this week issued a strong challenge to the U.S. Congress to update the nation's antiquated and anti-competitive telecom rules (Verizon's words, not ours), saying that Congress must act now to address telecommunications policies that are broken. "The grinding you hear are the gears churning as policymakers try to fit fast-changing technologies and competitive markets into regulatory boxes built for analog technologies and monopoly markets," said Tom Tauke, Verizon's executive vice president of public affairs, policy and communications, in discussing the Federal Communications Commission's outdated policies. Tauke pointed out that on the issue of net neutrality, the FCC's focus was limited... Read more...
Have you ever opened up your cell phone bill, only to drop it immediately in shock of the huge numbers you see? You aren't alone. Particularly in a world of smartphones, texting overages, and global roaming, it's not too difficult to spend more than you expected on mobile costs. To date, carrier's aren't required to give consumers a "heads-up" when they're about to go over their allotted minutes, texts messages, or data plan, so the bill simply comes with huge figures rather than a warning a few weeks earlier. A New York Times report has found that the "Federal Communications Commission will propose rules on Thursday requiring mobile phone companies to alert customers by voice or text message... Read more...
High-speed Internet service is only half as fast as advertised, according to an FCC report released this week. It is already bad enough that the U.S. trails a significant number of countries in terms of broadband speed, despite having invented the Internet. It is possibly because ISPs offer speeds of "up to" X Mbps that this difference exists. In terms of those "up to" claims, the FCC report said that ISPs advertised an average of "up to" 6.7 Mbps (download) in 2009. What consumers received instead, however, was a lot less. The report said: FCC analysis shows that average (mean) actual speed consumers received was approximately 4 Mbps, while the median actual speed was roughly 3 Mbps... Read more...
Last week, the New York Times showcased a story which implied Google and Verizon were coming to an agreement that would end net neutrality. Both Verizon and Google denied that claim, although indicating they were working on something. On Monday, the two corporations revealed the fruits of their labor: a joint proposal for how the FCC should handle net neutrality. Indeed, it was not the dissolving of the concept of net neutrality that the two firms were working on, but rather the fostering of it, exactly the opposite of what was feared. Net neutrality has been the guiding principle of the Internet until now, meaning that all content, regardless of its source, has the same "priority" as any other... Read more...
If you've ever tried to set up a wireless router in an apartment building or college campus, you've probably encountered problems when it came to establishing a clear signal. All too often, multiple routers in close proximity will tangle with each other, lowering the quality and range of everyone's signal. With wireless broadband usage projected to explode over the next 5-10 years (estimates range from 20x-45x) and a few cities talking about creating an umbrella of service under metro areas, it's easy to see how these sorts of well-intentioned plans could create digital traffic jams. The Obama administration has its eye on a solution to this problem—expand the existing block of the spectrum... Read more...
We've all heard the horror stories from people traveling overseas, only to return home to a wireless bill that's more expensive than their mortgage payment. You're probably thinking "that would never happen to me!," but the reality is that it happens a lot more than you may expect. A new inquiry into this matter by the FCC has found that one in six American cell phone users have experienced "bill shock," which is described as "a sudden increase in their monthly bill when they have not changed their service plan." All told, 17% of American adults with a personal cell phone said that they've been shocked by their wireless bill at least once, despite not changing anything about their plan. According... Read more...
Wouldn't it be nice if your wireless operator shot you a free text message or e-mail whenever you were quickly approaching your monthly minute limit or text limit? Wouldn't it be great if you received some sort of alert whenever you touched down in a foreign country and were about to incur roaming charges for making calls or using data in someone else's homeland? Some carriers already do this (AT&T sends a free text message alerting you to the international data roaming rate for iPhone users, at least), but the FCC would like for everyone to join in. A new Consumer Task Force at the FCC has been commissioned to look long and hard at what many consumers call "bill shock" in order to remedy... Read more...
Net Neutrality has always been a hot button topic, just like anything else involving politics. What really pushed the discussion over the edge was Comcast's decision to throttle some users in hopes of providing a "better experience" for others; you can probably imagine why this made some people glad and some people upset. But the question always lingered: could Comcast really do that? As the Internet becomes more of an asset and a bigger factor in the global economy, we knew the American government would step in at some point to have their say. And now, the FCC is doing just that. Over the course of this week, the agency has been looking into how to best add some oversight to an Internet that... Read more...
Interest in the iPad is running high on launch day—just in time for photos of a 'naked' iPad to pop up on the FCC's website. The images detail what's underneath the hood of Apple's new tablet and while some of the text was originally grayed out, there are ways to access the original image beneath. The iPad has taken some heat from critics who dismiss it as just a big iPhone Touch; but similar exteriors can be deceiving. The size and higher-end requirements of the iPad necessitate a new internal design, parts of which are shown below. Click for high res viewAbove we've got the back of the iPad and the rigid cable that runs across the back of the device. In addition to providing support, the cable... Read more...
We imagine the suits over at the FCC must be big fans of the movie Top Gun, because a major new Internet policy that's about to be unveiled proves someone in Washington feels the need for speed. We're talking about a policy that would task ISPs with putting 100Mbps speeds in place at 100 million American homes within the next decade.That's just one of several goals outlined in the National Broadband Plan, though it's the one that's drawing the most ire from a handful of ISPs who oppose "extreme forms of regulation" by the FCC."This is a fairly unique event," said Paul Gallant, an analyst with Concept Capital. "The FCC really has never been asked to design a broad regulatory shift like this. Broadband... Read more...
Broadband speed tests are nothing new, but the FCC is offering Internet users a chance to weigh in on just how fast connections are across the country. Unlike regular speed tests, the FCC's program records the street address from which the program is run (no other personal information is requested). I'd really prefer a plan that didn't make me download through a river and upload through a strawWe've talked quite a bit about the FCC's initiative and comprehensive national broadband plan it will present to Congress in a manner of days; if you're interested in contributing real-world data to the Federal Communication Commissions own measurements we suggest you hit the site and take the test. There's... Read more...
Earlier this week we covered the news that nearly 80 percent of all Internet users worldwide feel that Internet access is a right. In a week, the FCC will present its specific plan for bringing broadband Internet to the estimated 35 percent of Americans who currently either don't have or can't get such service. A new brief discussing the organizations general thoughts is now available and if it's anything to go by, certain provisions the FCC wants to recommend will face stiff opposition from telecommunication companies. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski believes it's essential to extend universal broadband across the US. In order to ensure long term American competitiveness and prosperity, we must... Read more...
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski has been much in the news over the past six months. As we've covered in the past, Genachowski has aggressively stumped for a national broadband policy, traveled the country, and under his direction the FCC has solicited comments from corporations and citizens alike. Last fall, the chairman took a stance in favor of net neutrality. With roughly a month to go until the FCC reveals its policy recommendations, Genachowski is trying to clarify what he believes the role of the FCC should and shouldn't be in the years ahead."I don’t see any circumstances where we’d take steps to regulate the Internet itself," Genachowski said... Read more...
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