Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai said that broadband rate regulations are coming, despite the fact that the FCC specifically said since before new regulations went to affect in June that it had no plans to regulate broadband.
Pai, who voted against the new rules in a February meeting that ultimately saw them approved, said that the ATT-DirecTV is a prime example of rate regulation.
It's official: the FCC has voted and given approval for AT&T to buy DirecTV today. The FCC did put a few conditions on AT&T, though nothing the company wasn't anticipating. Besides promising to abide by the new net neutrality rules implemented in June, AT&T promises to expand its broadband network to 12.5 million customer locations and to give discounted rates to poorer consumers.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler has given his approval to a merger between AT&T and DirecTV merger. Wheeler released an order today to other commissioners within the FCC highlighting his support for the merger.
"The proposed order outlines a number of conditions that will directly benefit consumers by bringing more competition in the broadband marketplace," Wheeler wrote in the order.
The Hill reports that Senate Republicans are pushing a rider to an appropriations bill that would bar the Federal Communications Commission from regulating broadband Internet rates under its net neutrality rules.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has already said that the agency would not get into rate regulation, but that hasn't stopped Republicans from pushing measures that would stop them from doing... what the agency has no plans of doing in the first place.
While entertainment streaming company Netflix may have opposed the Time Warner Cable - Comcast merger, it appears to support a merger between TWC and its latest suitor, Charter. Why? Well, apparently if the merger happens the new entity won't charge large content providers and network operators for direct connections to its network, according to this Ars Technica report.
Vermont Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders (who is currently going head-to-head with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination) and three other senators - Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), and Al Franken (D-Minn.) - have sent a letter to the Federal Communication Commission urging the agency to investigate how cable and broadband providers are charging their customers for services.
Mobile phone and broadband provider AT&T says that it will give cheaper Internet service to the poor if the FCC approves its merger plan with satellite TV provider DirecTV. In a new filing with the FCC, AT&T says that it will offer "qualifying residents" (those who already receive government assistance of some sort - such as food stamps - and aren't already customers) in areas where AT&T's top speeds are below 5Mbps DSL service of up to 1.5Mbps for $5 a month.
International consumer watchdog SumOfUs.org, is backing a current shareholder resolution at Time Warner’s annual general meeting of shareholders in New York City this week calling on the Internet and cable service provider to disclose all of its political spending and to end the funding of shadow organizations opposed to net neutrality.
Federal Communications Commission member Michael O’Rielly, a Republican, said yesterday that "Internet access is not a necessity or human right" and called this one of the most important "principles for regulators to consider as it relates to the Internet and our broadband economy." O'Rielly's remarks were part of a speech delivered to the Internet Innovation Alliance yesterday.
The White House sent to a letter to the House Appropriations Committee this week strongly urging lawmakers to remove language that would stop the FCC from enforcing the new neutrality rules that went in to effect this month. Congress has added language to the appropriations bill that would limit the FCC's power to enforce the new rules and cut $25 million from its annual budget.
AT&T learns the new reality of violating the rules of net neutrality: there will be blood. Or rather, there will be consequences to messing with customers. The Federal Communications Commission has fined the mobile provider $100 million for slowing down or "throttling" Internet speeds of customers who signed up for unlimited data plans. The FCC found that when customers used up a certain amount of data watching video or browsing the Web, the company throttled their Internet speeds so that they were much slower than normal.
Yesterday a federal court refused to delay implementation of a key part of the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality order that was approved in its late February meeting. That key part of the new rules classifies broadband and mobile broadband as common carrier under Title II of the Telecommunications Act and goes into effect today. Trade groups and telecoms filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction of the new rules while things were fought out in federal court, but the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected that request.
As this Ars Technica report points out, the Federal Communication Commission's new net neutrality rules - which it approved in a meeting in late February - take effect on June 12. Internet service providers- while suing the FCC in federal court - are still tidying things up to avoid having complaints filed against them. Some of these complaints about connection speeds could be cleared up by interconnection deals that have been signed over the last two months.
Local municipalities will have a more difficult time imposing rate regulation on basic cable TV service because of a vote this week by the Federal Communications Commission. Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission released a report and order determining that cable TV providers face "effective competition" nationwide, and therefore should not be subject to rate regulations. The FCC says this is true because cable companies face stiff competition from satellite TV providers like Dish and DirecTV.
Politico reports that the Federal Communications Commission is drafting a proposal to extend the Lifeline mobile phone program (often referred to by some as the "Obamaphone" program, despite the fact it was around long before he took office) to cover broadband Internet for the poor.
North Carolina has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its new net neutrality rules set to take effect in June, Ars Technica reports. In addition to reclassifying broadband and mobile as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act and banning certain practices (throttling, blocking certain types of traffic), the FCC preempted state laws that allow them to block municipal broadband operations.
The Hill reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other parties interested in seeing the new net neutrality rules implemented in early June to explain why the court should allow them to go forward.
A law firm has filed a "petition for reconsideration" with the Federal Communications Commission today saying that its new rules voted on in its February meeting are not strong enough. The petition to the courts was filed by Washington, D.C.-based law firm Smithwick and Belendiuk.
Arthur Belendiuk, a partner in the firm, says that the new rules fall short in a number of ways, most notably in how they forbear applying traditional telecommunication regulations to broadband despite reclassifying its as a regulated telecom service.
Once again the Senate is using a budget hearing to rail against the Federal Communications Commission's changes to net neutrality rules voted on in February.
At a Senate appropriations hearing today, Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai urged the panel of lawmakers not to provide funds to FCC needed to implement the new rules.
"The commission will spend a lot of money and time applying regulations that are wasteful and unnecessary and that are already proving harmful to the American public," Pai said.
In a speech at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) conference in Chicago yesterday, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler offered a blunt message to service providers in the United States: stop complaining about the new net neutrality rules and start competing. Of course Wheeler had a lot more to say at the annual gathering of cable operators.
Trade groups and service providers are being clever in how they can derail the new net neutrality rules; besides all of the actions being driven by its supporters in Congress, these groups are also formally requesting that the Federal Communications Commission delay the implementation of one particular rule change: reclassifying broadband and mobile service providers as "common carriers" under title II of the Telecommunications Act.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is popular among republican lawmakers - and by popular we mean a regular target of House and Senate committee hearings. Wheeler was hauled before the House Commerce Committee's Communications and Technology subcommittee this week for a hearing about transparency: "FCC Reauthorization: Improving Commission Transparency" (as detailed by this Ars Technica report).
Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) introduced a "resolution of disapproval" (PDF) this week that declares that the FCC’s new policy "shall have no force or effect." The resolution is nearly identical to what Rep. Doug Collins (R-Georgia) introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this month. Here's what Sen. Paul's Senate effort states:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has received a request to delay the implementation of new Internet regulations it approved in its late February meeting, according to Reuters. The very first request comes from Daniel Berninger, founder of the Voice Communication Exchange Committee, who has asked the FCC to delay the rules so that things can be sorted out in the courts. The FCC is being sued by several ISPs and trade groups over the rule changes already.
The $45 billion merger deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is officially dead. Comcast announced this morning that it would abandon the deal in the face of growing opposition from the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. Because Comcast didn't have a separation agreement, it does not have to pay Time Warner Cable any sort of separation fee.