Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah) told Washington Post that the Federal Communications Commission's inspector general has opened up an investigation "in the last couple of days" to examine the agency's move to draw up new rules for Internet providers. Chaffetz is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee and a staunch opponent of the new rules put on mobile and broadband carriers by the FCC.
The FCC's Open Internet Order (commonly referred to as "net neutrality") has a major loophole in it when it comes to dealing with copyright and piracy, according to TorrentFreak.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler is going into the lion's den over the next two weeks as he defends the agency's late February vote to reclassify broadband and mobile providers as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act to lawmakers in D.C. Wheeler is expected to attend five meetings before committees in both the House of Representatives and the U.S.
Here's a disconcerting report from Ars Technica about how AT&T is still throttling mobile unlimited data plan customers and the FCC probably won't do much to stop them - at least for now. And all of this is after the fact that the FCC put tighter restrictions on throttling in its late February meeting. It did not however specifically use the term "ban."
D.C. think tank and vocal net neutrality opponent Progressive Policy Institute issued a statement today urging Congress to pass some sort of legislation that would strip the FCC of its authority to enforce net neutrality rules on mobile and broadband service providers. The statement is in response to the release of the 400-page net neutrality rules document that the FCC released today.
Those complaining about the Federal Communications Commission's changes to net neutrality rules in its late February meeting now have the opportunity to look at all of the details. Today the FCC released a 400 page document, which you can find here.
It includes all the rule changes to the Open Internet Order, the opinions of the commission's Democratic and Republican members, and other issues that were voted on during the February meeting.
According to this Daily Beast report, 29 of the Republican lawmakers who signed on to The Internet Freedom Act put forth by Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) -- including Blackburn -- received a total of $800,000 from major telecoms and related lobbyists in 2014.
Republican 2016 presidential hopeful and former Florida governor Jeb Bush thinks that net neutrality is "crazy." Speaking at the Cedar Rapids Pizza Ranch in Iowa over the weekend, Jeb Bush criticized President Obama's net neutrality policies, saying what most Republicans say about it: that it would "stifle competition, stifle innovation."
"The idea of regulating access to the internet with a 1934 law is one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard," he said.
Republicans are preparing a bill that will make impudent the Federal Communications Commission as it relates to net neutrality rules. Led by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn. - pictured, left) and co-sponsored by 31 other Republican lawmakers, the legislation "will put the brakes on this FCC overreach and protect our innovators from these job-killing regulations," Blackburn said in a statement.
On Tuesday Sony officially released the HBO Go app for PlayStation 4 owners. There was much rejoicing, unless you were a Comcast customer; for those poor souls there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Apparently Comcast is one of the few broadband providers in the United States that currently does not support HBO Go on PS4.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the chair of the communications subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, recently promised at an industry summit hosted by the American Cable Association that he would take the bite out of the FCC's new net neutrality rules.
"I think it’s illogical and illegal. It didn’t have to be this way," said Walden on the FCC's vote to approve stronger net neutrality protections in late February. "We intend to do our due diligence."
President Barack Obama issued a statement today following the FCC's decision to reclassify broadband and mobile providers as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.
While avoiding the specific details and ramifications of the FCC's reclassification rules to make the Open Internet Order enforceable and legal, the president heaped praise on American citizens who went out of their way to strongly support these and other changes.
His statement to the American public can be read below in its entirety.
Update: The Entertainment Software Association - the trade group representing the video game industry - praised the FCC's decision today concerning net neutrality rules changes (thanks GamesBeat):
After lengthy orations from the two Democratic and two Republican FCC commissioners at a hearing today, the full commission voted in favor of reclassifying mobile and broadband as "common carriers" under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. Republican commissioners voted against the rule changes, while Democratic Commissioners and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler voted in favor of the measure. The net neutrality rule changes also ban the practice of paid prioritization, or "fast lanes" (whereby content providers pay ISPs for direct access to its customers).
If you are interested in seeing the full commission arguing about net neutrality rule changes and in taking a closer look at state laws that pot up barriers to municipal broadband offerings, then you can watch it live on The Verge.
They are also live-tweeting the event as it happens. Right now Republican commissioners are explaining why pre-empting state laws is unconstitutional and amount to meddling with the free market.
A vote on this particular issue is eminent.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to vote on whether it will reclassify mobile and broadband as common carrier under Title II of the Telecommunications Act (thus giving the agency regulatory authority over telecom companies) and to ban or put more scrutiny on the practice of "Fast Lanes" (paid prioritization).
Last week at the Code/Media conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, California billionaire and ABC Shark Tank star Mark Cuban said that the Federal Communication Commission's plan to reclassify broadband and mobile at common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act will "f*ck everything up."
"That will f*ck everything up," said Cuban last Wednesday at the Code/Media conference.
"Net neutrality is just a demonization of big companies," he added.
While some mobile carriers are proclaiming that the sky will fall if the FCC approves measures to reclassify broadband and mobile as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act (in effect giving it the legal authority to regulate both industries) at the end of the month, mobile phone service provider T-Mobile seems to be taking all of it in stride.
A mildly amusing thread on Reddit captures an exchange between a customer and a Comcast customer service rep. complaining about data caps on his broadband connection and an ever increasing bill. As he decides to cancel his Comcast account, the company rep. tells him that data caps are used by all ISPs these days because, "they are mandated by law."
California has given tentative approval to Comcast's proposed $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, but there are some strings attached, which the company quickly said were too difficult to adhere to. Generally when California's regulatory approves a major merger, the FCC usually follows in the same path.
The approval with conditions came yesterday from Public Utilities Commission Administrative Law Judge Karl Bemesderfer but Comcast Executive VP David Cohen was quick to criticizing the conditions.
In less than two weeks the Federal Communications Commission will vote whether to reclassify broadband and mobile service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, but Republican lawmakers and their allies staunchly opposed to net neutrality (or as they are fond of calling it "Internet regulations") are pulling out all the stops to slow things down.
The FCC seems gung ho about reclassifying broadband and mobile internet providers as common carriers in order to enforce net neutrality rules but it seems municipal broadband providers want none of that.
Around 43 municipal broadband providers have sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission asking the agency to give them a special exemption from being included with major broadband and mobile service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC is set to vote on this at the end of this month, but municipal providers say they shouldn't be lumped in with the rest of the rabble because they have no "incentive to harm the openness of the Internet."
Net neutrality, the idea that internet service providers should treat all legal internet traffic equally (no blocking, throttling or paid prioritization), is an important topic 'round these parts. People who use the internet for work, leisure or both tend to strongly support it. ISPs like Verizon and Comcast? Not so much. And that's understandable. I mean, why wouldn't you want to, for example, throttle Netflix to encourage people to use your own video service?
The FCC will vote in its late February meeting to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Telecommunications Act and will seek to ban supposed "fast lane" deals as well. The announcement was made today in an editorial written by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler published on Wired.