California US Reps. Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo (both Democrats) submitted legislation this week that would reinstate the net neutrality rules recently struck down by a D.C Federal Appeals Court decision. Rules that were part of the Open Internet Order preventing Internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against content were vacated last month after a Federal Judge said that the Federal Communications Commission failed to properly justify its authority to implement them.
This week rights group Free Press led a coalition of organizations (including the ACLU, Avaaz, Common Cause, ColorOfChange, CREDO, DailyKos, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, the Harry Potter Alliance, MoveOn, RootsAction and the Sierra Club's SierraRise community) that delivered a petition signed by one million people to the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency do whatever it has to do to restore Net Neutrality.
A new patent filed by AT&T Mobility in September 2013 and published this month hopes to keep customers from "abusing a telecommunications system" by consuming too much bandwidth, according to a report on TorrentFreak. The ultimate goal of such a patent is to apparently keep users from using certain services within the confines of packages they subscribe to.
The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has issued an action alert concerning the future of net neutrality, asking its members and the Internet community at large to contact their representatives in Congress, President Barack Obama, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and ask them to preserve and revise the Open Internet Order so that it can survive future legal challenges.
Public Knowledge on Thursday announced that former Justice Department antitrust official Gene Kimmelman has joined the watchdog group as its new president. Kimmelman has long been a leading proponent of net neutrality, and given the recent Appeals Court decision striking down part of the FCC's rules in its Open Internet Order, Public Knowledge and other organizations that support Net Neutrality need all the help they can get.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has put the brakes on a plan by AT&T to raise prices for "special access" customers, which could have led to a rate hike to businesses and cell phone users. AT&T had planned to make that hike happen today, but the FCC stepped in and suspended the action for five months while it conducts an investigation on the matter.
Newly anointed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said this week that it would be okay for Internet service providers to charge Netflix and other companies for a faster lane to consumers. While some think that Wheeler's stance is surprising given that the FCC implemented the Open Internet Order in 2010 to stop ISPs from discriminating against certain types of traffic, anyone who knows Wheeler's past is not in the least bit surprised. Wheeler is a former lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is rolling out a broadband speed test app for Android phones beginning this week, with plans for an iOS version sometime later down the road. The app was announced at the Nov. 14 meeting, which was the first under the agency's new chairman Tom Wheeler.
"If we are going to be making fact-based decisions, we need facts," said Wheeler, "and you are enlisting the American people for those facts."
Michael Powell, a former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman (under President George W Bush) and now President and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), recently said that ISPs should be moving with urgency to implement data caps on their customers.
His remarks, chronicled by Multichannel News at the recent Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta, were in response to a question about data caps.
According to The Hill, one of the demands that Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives have put forth calls for a repeal of the FCC's rules on net neutrality.
According to the publication, a memo was circulated late last week amongst Republican lawmakers detailing some of the demands that they have put forth as a condition of passing a budget and raising the debt ceiling.
In the early hours of a three-judge panel hearing this morning at the Federal Appeals Court, the FCC's net neutrality rules took some strong criticism from the bench. The Federal Appeals court expressed "deep concerns" that the agency's "net neutrality" rules approved in late 2010 are completely legal. Verizon argued before the panel this morning for two hours, saying that the rules were not legal because they were not implemented by lawmakers and that the FCC does not have the authority to enforce them.
Today the Federal Appeals Court will hear arguments in a case against the FCC's net neutrality rules. Verizon will go before a three-judge panel to argue that the "Open Internet Order" does not have the approval of the Congress and that the FCC does not have the authority to regulate broadband and mobile Internet services. The company will also claim that the rules are "arbitrary and capricious" and violate the company's constitutional rights.
Ars Technica points out that Google Fiber's terms of service has a clause that a lot of its subscribers probably don't know about: if you don't have a written agreement with the company in advance, you are not allowed to host any type of server on its connection.
If you are a Time Warner Cable internet customer, you can look forward to a price hike on that cable modem lease the company instituted late last year. Customers weren't happy that TWC decided to charge a leasing fee of $3.95 (in most regions) per month which officially kicked in last November. Now customers will see that fee increase about a little over $2. The modem leasing price will jump from $3.95 to $5.99 per month. - roughly an extra $24.48 per year.
The Associated Press is reporting that the country's fourth largest mobile carrier T-Mobile USA has completed the acquisition of rival mobile phone carrier MetroPCS. T-Mobile will add the company's estimated 9 million customers to its own 34 million users. While T-Mobile has no plans to make any immediate changes, the company does plan on shutting down MetroPCS’s network over the next two years.
Departing FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell (Republican) says that one of the commission's biggest failures was net neutrality while one of its greatest triumphs while he was there was reform of the Universal Service Fund. He along with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (Democrat) announced last week that they would be leaving the agency shortly.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) confirmed a story that had been circulating the internet over the last 24 hours: that Chairman Julius Genachowski will be leaving his position "in the coming weeks." Genachowski pushed hard for universal broadband and net neutrality but with limited success.
Is France about to join the "net neutrality club?" According to this Ars Technica report that is a distinct possibility, but some things need to be worked out first… The French government has put forward a new plan that could enshrine net neutrality into national law, and should it pass it would become the second country in Europe.
On this week's show, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight are joined by James Fudge to discuss the new Six Strikes anti-piracy scheme, Time Warner Cable's insistence that customers don't want faster broadband and the latest poll on the PS4's lack of backwards compatibility. Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 43 (1 hour, 14 minutes) 67.8 MB. You can also check out the show on YouTube if you prefer an unedited and more visual experience.
While the "six strikes" anti-piracy program agreed upon by Internet service providers and intellectually property owners went into effect this week, service providers and the entertainment industry have not been so keen on sharing what the ramifications are if users are accused of engaging in copyright infringement online. Most ISPs have claimed that six strikes is simply a program to educate consumers on the evils of illegally downloading and sharing copyrighted materials and that it has very little to do with punishing individuals.
If a town or city wants to have their own broadband infrastructure, they should be able to build it as long as it doesn't cost the state it is in taxpayer dollars. But there's a quiet movement - a greasing of the wheels, if you like - to put a stop to that by telcos and low-end broadband providers that rely on old infrastructure. The latest state to try and legislate limits on what towns and cities can do to improve broadband is in Georgia, where state lawmakers have introduced Georgia House Bill 282, or "the Municipal Broadband Investment Act."
Germany's highest court has ruled that Internet is such an important part of modern everyday life that when someone gets cut off from it they deserve some sort of compensation. The German high court made this determination based on a case involving a German citizen who was disconnected from his DSL line in 2008 because of some unspecified technical error. The citizen was offline for two months and he was angry enough about it to sue the ISP for his expenses (he used his mobile phone instead of his wireline VoIP service) as well as €50 ($67) per day because he had no connection.
Will the new Six Strikes scheme to fight online piracy and illegal file-sharing be the death of free Wi-Fi in America provided by small businesses? It sounds like it. According to a TorrentFreak report, citing a leaked document from Verizon's plans to implement the new system, business accounts will also be subject to the copyright alert system. What this means is that business customers who offer free Wi-Fi will be subject to the same alert system.
On January 18, 2012 something amazing happened: the Internet community, advocacy groups, internet personalities, popular websites, and even some brave politicians banded together to send a message to lawmakers and special interests that backed the poorly crafted SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) legislation.
It looks like two Internet service providers accused of installing spyware on their customers' computers in order to serve up ads to them will not have to worry about a class action suit filed against them going any further, according to this Courthouse News report.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced legislation Thursday that would regulate the use of data caps by internet and mobile service providers. Wyden has been a longtime champion of net neutrality rules and internet freedom. He opposed SOPA, PIPA and other bills that would put rules or regulations on the Internet and has been a strong supporter of the FCC's net neutrality rules.
Former Virginia Republican State Senate Candidate and online mass marketer Jason Flanary is asking the Federal Communications Commission to whitelist "political messaging" (or spam as many who receive it but don't want it call it) or declare bulk messaging and email as general protected free speech. He is doing this under the idea that limiting messaging is a violation of his free speech rights and net neutrality rules.
Npeaches offers an excellent interview with Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) discussing some pretty important topics including the importance of net neutrality and intellectual property as it relates to the Internet.
The interview is 10 minutes 32 seconds long. You can watch it to your left in its entirety.
Source: Culture Cache Blog