Items tagged with FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today made available the full text of its Open Internet Order following the reclassification of broadband Internet as a utility in a recent 3-2 vote. It's a long read -- exactly 400 pages from start to finish, and it includes dissenting opinions from Republican commissioners. This is the first time the full text has been available for mass consumption. Commissioners Ajit Pai and Micheal O'Rielly were the two biggest dissenters to the FCC's decision to reclassify the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Their opinions are spelled out in detail in the order, including 64 pages written by Pai and 16 pages by O'Rielly. We're still... Read more...
As someone who once served as the governor of Florida, it stands to reason that presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has seen and heard some downright wild ideas, as most politicians probably have. But the one that's apparently so far out there as to be deemed the "craziest idea" of all is the Federal Communications Commission's decision to regulate broadband Internet as a utility. "The idea of regulating access to the Internet with a 1934 law is one of the craziest ideas I've ever heard," Bush said, according to Time. "Just think of the logic of using a 1934 law that was designed when we did have a monopoly for wire line service as the basis to regulate the most dynamic part... Read more...
What we had hoped for has come true: The Federal Communications Commission has approved net neutrality rules. Make no mistake, this is a hugely important move, and an almost surprising one given just how much it caters to keeping the Internet open. With these rules, ISPs will be unable to throttle the data that passes through their pipes, and they certainly can't charge companies for "fast lane" privileges. The Internet will be open, free... period. Well, you know, we can just ignore the fact that the government will continue to do whatever eavesdropping it wants - but that's totally unrelated to what net neutrality is about. Today's ruling means that Internet access in the US will fall under... Read more...
The road to net neutrality and winning the Internet, as it were, won't be one that's quickly or easily traveled. On the bright side, Federal Communications Chairman (FCC) Tom Wheeler earlier this month announced quite plainly that the FCC will propose reclassifying the Internet as a utility under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act, putting it into the same category that power companies fall into. Doing so would give the FCC the power it needs to regulate Internet so that it stays free and open, but as you can imagine, telcos and ISPs aren't particularly happy about this. In fact, AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson warned that litigation is... Read more...
Thanks to the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and its Chairman Tom Wheeler, you shouldn't have too much trouble unlocking your cellphone post contract and taking it to another carrier. It's certainly legal, which was a bit of a gray area two years ago. But Wheeler and all four major wireless carriers in the U.S. came to an agreement that effective today, allows mobile phones to be unlocked upon request. If for some reason they can't, then they must "provide the necessary information to unlock their devices for their customers and former customers in good standing and individual owners of eligible devices after the fulfillment of the applicable postpaid service... Read more...
We reported earlier this week that the FCC was expected to issue a new net neutrality proposal this week, and as we can now see, it hasn't taken long to get a follow-up. In fact, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has gone the extra mile by penning his own piece for Wired so that we could learn about this new proposal in layman's terms. As we hoped, the FCC will in fact be proposing that our Internet access will be classified as Title II, which would put it in the same category that power companies fall into. As far as many people are concerned, including myself, Title II is the only way we can guarantee that our Internet remains "open", free of so-called fast lanes. Flickr: Stephen Melkisethian In his... Read more...
Well, here's some long overdue progress. It's expected that on Thursday, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler will issue a proposal that works in net neutrality's favor, and fortunately, a vote will take place just a few weeks later. Wheeler's proposal would make our Internet access a Title II utility. That means that it'd be regulated in much the same way as public utilities, such as power, but it's expected that this proposal will stop short of having any oversight on pricing. Flickr: Stephen Melkisethian One of the greatest benefits of putting our Internet access under Title II is that fast lanes will not be allowed, which is to say that companies will not be able to pay ISPs more for improved traffic... Read more...
For many Americans seeking high-speed Internet access for their homes, options are often very limited. In the Raleigh, NC area I have access to exactly two players when it comes to reliable high-speed internet for my home: Time Warner Cable and AT&T. Time Warner Cable’s highest speed tier in my area gives me 50 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream speeds. On the AT&T front, I can’t even get U-Verse at my address, so I would be limited to 6 Mbps downstream speeds via DSL (reliable information on upstream speeds is quite elusive, although they likely aren’t very good). With limited choice and often dismal upstream speeds, it’s no wonder that many people are excited to hear that newcomers... Read more...
Give Marriott International a half-hearted gold star for finally committing to leaving Wi-Fi hotspots alone. Bruce Hoffmeister, Global Chief Information Office for Marriott, issued a statement saying the hotel chain has decided to withdraw its petition seeking "direction" from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on what legal Wi-Fi blocking efforts might be at its disposable. "Marriott International has decided to withdraw as a party to the petition seeking direction from the FCC on legal Wi-Fi security measures. Our intent was to protect personal data in Wi-Fi hotspots for large conferences," Hoffmeister said. "We thought we were doing the right thing asking the FCC to provide guidance,... Read more...
In what's been described as "by far the highest-earning spectrum auction the United States has ever seen" by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler, AT&T led the way by spending a whopping $18.2 billion on wireless licenses. Combined with its acquisition of DirecTV last year, some are wondering if AT&T is being a bit careless. AT&T spent nearly $49 billion last year buying DirecTV, the largest satellite TV provider in the U.S. with 20 million customers. Along with a pair of smaller acquisitions and the wireless spectrum licenses it just bought, AT&T will see $70 billion go out the door in a year's time. "This spectrum investment will be critical to AT&T... Read more...
The broadband situation in America right now isn't ideal, and in fact, some might call it appalling. While it doesn't take much effort to find people with high-speed connections, there remain many out there who don't have one. And even worse, in some cases they might only have access to one ISP. Well, with even president Obama urging for net neutrality to pass, as well as to see our Internet become a title II class utility, the broadband situation has got to change. And now, with the FFC's reclassifying of what broadband actually is... I guess we're on our way. Previously, the FCC denoted a broadband connection as one that delivered speeds of at least 4 Mbps down, and 1 Mbps up, whereas... Read more...
After being hit with a $600,000 fine by the Federal Communications Commission over its Wi-Fi blocking efforts, the Marriott International thought better of its ill-advised policy and vowed to no longer block guests from using their personal Wi-Fi devices at any of its managed hotels. Score a point for consumers, and kudos to the FCC, which has now taken things a step further by outright prohibiting people and businesses from intentionally interfering with Wi-Fi hotspots.In an FCC Enforcement Advisory issued this week, the FCC noted a "disturbing trend" by hotels and other commercial establishments whereby they've taken it upon themselves to block wireless users from utilizing their own Wi-Fi... Read more...
It seems as though cooler heads have prevailed over at Marriott International. The hotel chain has decided to drop plans that would block customers from using their own personal Wi-Fi hotspots -- Internet services that they have already paid for -- and push them to use overpriced Marriott Internet services. Marriott posted the following message to its official site this week: Marriott International listens to its customers, and we will not block guests from using their personal Wi-Fi devices at any of our managed hotels.  Marriott remains committed to protecting the security of Wi-Fi access in meeting and conference areas at our hotels.  We will continue to look to the FCC to clarify... Read more...
President Obama traveled to Cedar Falls, Iowa today to make an early announcement ahead of his State of The Union address. The president is setting out to highlight what he views as a need for some U.S. cities to have better choices when it comes to high speed Internet. He will be encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to pressure states in which cities have inadequate Internet connectivity. Screen grab: Affordable High Speed For All Americans. Image credit: Whitehouse.gov The issue stems from some situations in which major broadband suppliers either avoid a particular city or refuse to upgrade existing equipment there, which leads to slower Internet speeds than are enjoyed in other... Read more...
After far-too-many years of waiting, it looks like the Federal Communications Commission is set to both propose and vote on net neutrality rules next month. According to a Washington Post source, FCC chief Tom Wheeler plans to circulate a draft internally sometime this month, hoping to iron out the last kinks to make sure that there are no issues with approval next month. At this point, I think it'd be safe to remain a little cautious about what's to come. One reason is FCC's Tom Wheeler, someone who's become infamous for going against the grain of public interest in this matter. Plus, let's not forget, this is the agency that "lost" nearly three-quarters of a million net neutrality comments... Read more...
We’ve all encountered this issue. You check into your hotel room and attempt to connect to the complementary Wi-Fi network only to find that it’s slow as molasses, transporting you back to a time when a 56K modem was considered hot stuff. And even when you are forced to pay a daily “Resort Fee” to access Wi-Fi, download speeds typically aren’t much better and really bog down during evening hours. Marriott’s Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee came under fire from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) back in October, when an investigation concluded that the resort was installing jamming equipment to block Wi-Fi signals of guests that were using site conference... Read more...
It's always a good idea to comb through your wireless phone bill each and every month to make sure you aren't being hit with any unauthorized charges, such as ringtones, screensavers, and other third-party items that you never agreed to purchase. It's a practice known as bill cramming, and it's something the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) takes very seriously. The FCC is so serious that it may slap Sprint with a hefty fine for allowing its customers to be charged for services they never wanted or requested. According to Reuters, FCC commissioners are currently reviewing the situation and will soon vote on the proposed $105 million fine. It's the same amount the FCC punished... Read more...
U.S. schools and libraries are about to receive $1.5 billion in additional funding for broadband Internet, thanks to the FCC. The money will bolster the Universal Service Fund (also known as E-Rate), which helps schools across the country obtain affordable high-speed Internet access and wireless networking equipment, often through subsidies. The decision means you will see an increase in fees on both your landline and mobile phone bills. FCC Chairman Thomas. E. WheelerU.S. citizens already pay 99 cents per phone line each month to the E-Rate program. That fee will increase to $1.15. “If demand for E-rate funds from schools and libraries ramps up to reach the full $3.9 billion cap, the estimated... Read more...
Out of all the things you carry on your person, a smartphone is likely to be the most valuable item, or at least one of them (a concealed weapon or a Rolex watch could trump your handheld). The high dollar value of any given smartphone is part of what makes them so attractive to thieves, hence why it's not all that shocking to discover that over a million smartphones are stolen each year in the U.S. according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC released a report (PDF) this week on the subject of smartphone theft, and in it, the government organization provides analysis based on data obtained from 21 police departments covering nearly 20 million people.... Read more...
Every hardware maker has constraints -- be it battery life, heat, size, or available materials. On the design front, one challenge that has thus far been impossible to overcome is the FCC stamp that has to be imprinted on the exterior of any device certified for use amongst the United States' airwaves. Now, that's history. President Obama signed the E-Label Act into law, enabling gadget makers to place that tiny logo in software within a product rather than on the outside.It seems fairly small in the grand scheme of politics, but it was a bi-partisan bill that had little issue sweeping support in the House and Senate. Beyond the FCC logo, gadget builders can also stamp ID numbers and other labeling... Read more...
T-Mobile has been the target of much consumer ire in the past due to the way it throttles user bandwidth and tries to keep it a secret. If you regularly use the Internet on your phone, it's going to be obvious when the performance is less than what you're used to getting. For many, at the first sign of poor network performance, a website like Speedtest is visited in order to gauge whether it's just a download going slow, or the website you're on. The problem T-Mobile customers faced was that Speedtest results would come back just as expected, with no degradation. In actuality, T-Mobile simply detects when these bandwidth testers are used, and then deliver full performance. With everything else,... Read more...
The Federal Communications Commission is in the process of auctioning off 65 megahertz of the electromagnetic spectrum and it is going very well. As of Friday, bidding for six blocks of airwaves has reached an unprecedented amount sailing north of $34 billion.This particular auction, which started November 13, is now three times the reserve price of $10.5 billion that the FCC put on the sale. One of the factors that has contributed to the high bidding war is the fact that this is the first such auction in six years. “Years of hard effort paved the way for the AWS-3 auction, in which 70 applicants qualified to bid, and ongoing bidding appears to signal considerable commercial interest in this... Read more...
First ... Prev 5 6 7 8 9 Next ... Last