Ireland Wants Minimum Broadband Speeds of 30Mbps

August 31, 2012 -

While America continues to flounder when it comes to broadband connection speeds, politicians in Ireland are doing everything they can to make things better for its citizens. According to this Ars Technica report, Ireland's Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte has outlined a new broadband plan for Ireland that calls for a "minimum of 30Mbps for every remaining home and business in the country—no matter how rural or remote."

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HBO Tries Different Approach to Streamed Content in Europe

August 31, 2012 -

Premium pay TV network HBO (owned by Time Warner) is using a different business model than it does in America to provide HBO Go-style streamed content in parts of Europe. Apparently HBO is more "cord-cutter" friendly across the ocean. HBO will offer a streaming service in Mid-October that does not require consumers to have a cable subscription. The rollout of this new HBO model will target only a few European territories.

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FCC Seeks Public Comment on Broadband Speeds and Data Caps

August 24, 2012 -

The FCC issued a notice of inquiry this week asking the general public about what constitutes a reasonable data cap and what speed constitutes a "broadband connection." The agency is doing some soul searching and may want to change the definitions on these issues. If data capping and broadband connection speeds are important to you, then this is a golden opportunity to give the agency you opinion and possibly have an effect on future policy.

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Report: Republicans Adding 'Internet Freedom' to Party Platform

August 24, 2012 -

Conservative political news site The Daily Caller reports that the Republican Party platform will include a new section on Internet Freedom, to be approved sometime before the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida next week.

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Free Press CEO Takes AT&T to Task Over FaceTime App

August 23, 2012 -

A scathing editorial on Huffington Post from Craig Aaron, CEO and President of online rights advocacy group Free Press, calls AT&T out for its handling of the FaceTime app and for violating Net Neutrality rules. The editorial is in response to AT&T's restrictions on using Apple's FaceTime app for iOS devices, which Aaron calls a "clear violation of Net Neutrality."

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FCC: 119 Million Americans Lack Access to Broadband

August 22, 2012 -

Of the estimated 314 million Americans, 119 million have no access to broadband connections. A new report by the Federal Communications Commission reveals that an estimated 19 million Americans have no option to buy or access to broadband Internet service. An estimated 100 million Americans that do live in areas that offer broadband are not subscribers.

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Rights Groups Say AT&T's New Policy for FaceTime Violates Net Neutrality Rules

August 21, 2012 -

Two internet rights groups have cried foul on AT&T's plans for the video chat application FaceTime. The groups say that the iPhone app will violate net neutrality rules put in place by the Federal Communications Commission in late 2011. AT&T announced last week that it would only allow consumers to use the app on its 3G network if they subscribe to new shared data plans. Those subscribers who use the old individual data plans would only be allowed to use it via Wi-Fi networks.

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Demand Progress Urges Political Parties to Make 'Internet Freedom' Part of their Platforms

August 15, 2012 -

Internet advocacy group Demand Progress launched a campaign this week to urge Democrats and Republican lawmakers to make a commitment - in writing - that they will protect internet freedom when creating new legislation and to make the issue part of their respective platforms.

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U.S. Wary of Proposed Internet Changes to Be Discussed at UN's ITR Meeting in December

August 3, 2012 -

While some hay is being made over the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union meeting in Dubai in December, most believe it is much ado about nothing. The way the Internet is regulated internationally will face a review in December, but the United States is already pointing out a number of changes that it will absolutely not allow under any circumstances. The regulations under review are from 1988.

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Verizon Wireless Fined by FCC for Blocking Tethering Apps on 4G Network

August 3, 2012 -

Earlier this week the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined Verizon Wireless $1.25 million for limiting its customers’ use of applications on its 4G network. In 2011, Free Press filed a formal complaint with the FCC against Verizon after reports indicated that Verizon had allegedly urged Google to remove some apps from its Android Market. These apps allowed Verizon subscribers to use tethering. Before these apps were available customers spent as much as $30 extra a month to tether.

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Public Knowledge Files Petition with FCC Protesting Comcast Content Discrimination, Data Capping

August 1, 2012 -

Internet advocacy group Public Knowledge has filed a formal petition asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to look into Comcast's violation of the agreement it signed when it merged with NBC Universal, according to an Ars Technica report. The group argues that Comcast gives preferential treatment to its own video services over other video services on the Internet by not having its usage count against customer data caps.

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Survey: 33 Percent of Cord Cutters Will Not Return to Traditional Cable

July 31, 2012 -

According to a recent survey conducted by TechBargains.com (as reported by CED Magazine), 33 percent of cord cutters would not return to cable, even if the cost was drastically reduced. Cord cutters are consumers who have ditched traditional cable television viewing in favor of using online video services such as Netflix and Hulu.

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Comcast to Begin Usage-Based Billing Trial Run in Nashville August 1

July 31, 2012 -

If you live in Nashville, Tennessee then you probably use Comcast for most of your internet needs, but a new trial in the region that begins tomorrow will change the way you use your internet connection for gaming and entertainment. Starting Wednesday, August 1, Comcast will test a new usage-based broadband policy on its Nashville customers. The company will data cap its customers at 300 GB a month and anyone that goes over that threshold will be charged an additional $10 per 50 GB of additional data used.

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Michael Geist: European Commission's Assurance on CETA Don't Add Up

July 26, 2012 -

As more details emerge on the secretly negotiated trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, online rights activists are voicing their opinions on why it is a bad idea and why they are getting a strange sense of déjà vu. Critics of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which was ultimately voted down by the European Parliament, have warned that those forces in Europe and other parts of the world behind such treaties will continue to push parts of that treaty that most citizens do not want.

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Majority of UK Internet Service Providers Sign Net Neutrality-Like Code of Practice

July 25, 2012 -

While most of the major internet service providers are signing on to a voluntary "code of practice" that would bind them to providing open access to the Internet, not everyone believes in the idea of solidarity. The code pledges that signatories will vow to offer open and full access to the internet, not prioritize traffic to its own products and services or prohibit access to legal content. So far, BT, O2, TalkTalk, Sky, Be, Kcom, Giffgaff, Plusnet, Tesco Mobile, and Three have signed the code.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 10

July 11, 2012 -

We hit a milestone this week - our 10th episode of the show (although we could argue that it is actually the 11th or 12 episode of the show if you count the lost episodes we determined to be not suitable for public consumption)! This week Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about patent wars, the European Court's ruling that digital games can be resold, Verizon's claim that net neutrality violates its first amendment rights, the controversy over Blizzard banning some Linux-using Diablo III players, and a whole lot of other interesting topics.

Free Press Quietly Drops Legal Challenge to FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

July 10, 2012 -

Advocacy group Free Press has quietly dropped its legal challenge to the FCC's net neutrality rules, according to a report in BroadCastingCable.com. Unlike Verizon and MetroPCS who want to see the rules eliminated, the Free Press legal challenge went in the opposite direction noting that the new rules were not strong enough. Free Press's legal brief in the case was due on July 2 but Free Press quietly let that deadline pass.

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Ron and Rand Paul's New Fight: Internet Freedom

July 6, 2012 -

While Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has not yet conceded the race to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the soon-to-be retiring Texas Congressman has teamed up with his son Rand Paul (Senator R-Kentucky) to take on a new crusade: Internet Freedom. Similar to his fight against ending the Federal Reserve, the Paul father and son team are taking the fight to government regulation of the Internet, but their perspective on it is decidedly Libertarian, which means that they do not believe the government should regulate anything related to the Internet.

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UK's Ofcom Proposes Caps for BT's Leased Line Prices

July 6, 2012 -

British telecommunications regulator Ofcom announced plans to sets caps on broadband service provider BT's internet line prices it charges other telecom companies who provide internet access outside London. Ofcom said that the proposed caps on pricing would lead to "real-terms price reductions" for internet service providers and other firms who are at the mercy of BT such as O2, Vodafone and Plusnet. Ofcom's proposal anticipates that the savings these companies enjoy will in turn be passed on to customers. BT is at the top of the leased lines market in the country.

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South Carolina Bill Makes Municipality-Owned Broadband Harder

July 2, 2012 -

Most citizens probably think that letting a municipality or township run local broadband services would be a good idea. There's even some anecdotal evidence that having low-cost broadband in a major metropolitan city controlled by the local government keeps broadband costs down, which in turn entices businesses that use it to set up shop which leads to job creation and local commerce. But it also means that broadband companies lose out on market.

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UK Lawmakers to Repeal Site Banning Provisions from the Digital Economy Act

July 2, 2012 -

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom seem to be having a change of heart about two key parts of an anti-piracy law. Lawmakers said at the end of last week that they plan to abandon legislative plans to block websites allegedly involved in distributing or sharing copyrighted materials.

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Report: Justice Department Investigating Broadband Providers over Data Caps

June 14, 2012 -

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Justice Department has launched an investigation into the practice of cable broadband providers using data caps. The investigation, according to a source "close to the situation," will focus on whether cable providers are using broadband data caps to promote their own video services while discouraging customers from using services such a Netflix which count against their data caps.

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U.S. Lawmakers Issa and Wyden Unveil Digital Bill of Rights

June 12, 2012 -

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) joined with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Or.) revealed what they are calling the "Digital Bill of Rights" at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City. 

A draft version of the Digital Bill of Rights is also live on Rep. Issa’s personal site, KeepTheWebOpen.com. The Digital Bill of Rights is comprised of ten key tenets, but chances are that the document will ultimately take into account and implement feedback from the Internet community.

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FCC Forms Open Internet Advisory Committee

May 29, 2012 -

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has formed an "Open Internet" committee to evaluate the agency's net neutrality rules. The committee was part of the rules that the FCC passed in late 2010 and later implemented in 2011. 

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Advocacy Groups Take FCC Chairman to Task for 'Data Cap Endorsement'

May 23, 2012 -

Online advocacy groups Public Knowledge and Free Press are taking Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski to task for comments he made earlier this week that seemed to indicate an "endorsement" of data caps, by calling them a legitimate business practice.

"There was a point of view a couple of years ago that there was only one permissible pricing model for broadband. I didn’t agree," Genachowski said during a question and answer session with National Cable and Telecommunications Association CEO Michael Powell.

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Comcast To Test New Pricing Tiers for Broadband Users, Temporarily Suspend Caps in Some Areas

May 18, 2012 -

Comcast says that it will soon raise the monthly cap of 250GB that customers currently suffer under to 300GB as part of a new tiered pricing plan, according to a CNET report. While it will beta test this new tired pricing model in some areas, the good news is that in areas where it is not testing it the data caps will be temporarily lifted.

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Comcast: Xfinity on Xbox Live a 'Cable Service,' Does Not Violate Net Neutrality Rules

May 16, 2012 -

In a post on the official Comcast blog, Tony Werner (Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, in Network and Operations) says that his company's video-on-demand service on Xbox Live, Xfinity, in no way violates net neutrality rules. In fact, he claims, the service is not an Internet service at all but a cable service served up using cable resources and not internet bandwidth.

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Seventy-Five Percent of Rural Residents Think Broadband Improves 'Quality of Life'

May 14, 2012 -

According to a new survey from NetAmerica Alliance that polled 800 rural residents, three out of four respondents said that having access to high speed internet is important to maintaining their quality of life. The contents of the survey was revealed to Telecompetitor.

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AT&T Suspends U-Verse on Xbox Live

May 14, 2012 -

Not long ago AT&T U-verse TV customers could order a "hardware kit" for their Xbox 360 that allowed them to use Microsoft's console as a set-top box. But according to a report from Multichannel.com, AT&T has suspended the program so that it can improve the service. In a statement on its website for the service AT&T wrote:

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The Netherlands Approves Net Neutrality Law

May 9, 2012 -

The Netherlands is the first country in Europe to pass a net neutrality law (thanks to Michael Chandra for multiple tips on this story). The Dutch Senate adopted the net neutrality provisions in a new Telecom Law that was approved on Tuesday night. Those changes to the law were approved unanimously, according to the Senate.

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Matthew Wilson@pm I doubt it. Google seems to be distancing themselves from G+07/25/2014 - 9:31pm
Papa MidnightGoogle+ Integration is coming to Twitch!07/25/2014 - 8:41pm
MaskedPixelanteThis whole Twitch thing just reeks of Google saying "You thought you could get away from us and our policies. That's adorable."07/25/2014 - 2:52pm
Sleaker@james_fudge - hopefully that's the case, but I wont hold my breath for it to happen.07/25/2014 - 1:08pm
SleakerUpdate on crytek situation is a bit ambiguous, but I'm glad they finally said something: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-07-25-crytek-addresses-financial-situation07/25/2014 - 1:07pm
E. Zachary KnightMan Atlas, Why do you not want me to have any money? Why? http://www.atlus.com/tears2/07/25/2014 - 12:06pm
Matthew WilsonI agree with that07/25/2014 - 10:45am
james_fudgeI think Twitch will have more of an impact on how YouTube/Google Plus work than the other way around.07/25/2014 - 10:22am
IanCWelp, twitch is going to suck now. Thanks google.07/25/2014 - 6:30am
Sleaker@MP - Looked up hitbox, thanks.07/24/2014 - 9:40pm
Matthew WilsonI agree, but to me given other known alternatives google seems to the the best option.07/24/2014 - 6:30pm
Andrew EisenTo be clear, I have no problem with Google buying it, I'm just concerned it will make a slew of objectively, quantifiably bad changes to Twitch just as it's done with YouTube over the years.07/24/2014 - 6:28pm
Matthew WilsonI doubt yahoo has the resources to pull it off, and I not just talking about money.07/24/2014 - 6:15pm
SleakerI wouldn't have minded a Yahoo purchase, probably would have been a better deal than Tumblr seeing as they paid the same for it...07/24/2014 - 6:13pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's the golden age of Hitbox, I guess.07/24/2014 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilsonagain twitch was going to get bought. It was just who was going to buy it . Twitch was not even being able to handle the demand, so hey needed a company with allot of infrastructure to help them. I can understand why you would not want Google to buy it .07/24/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew Eisen"Google is better than MS or Amazon" Wow. Google, as I mentioned earlier, progressively makes almost everything worse and yet there are still two lesser options. Again, wow!07/24/2014 - 5:43pm
Andrew EisenI don't know. MS, in my experience, is about 50/50 on its products. It's either fine or it's unusable crap. Amazon, well... I've never had a problem buying anything from them but I don't use any of their products or services so I couldn't really say.07/24/2014 - 5:42pm
Matthew WilsonGoogle is better than MS or Amazon.07/24/2014 - 5:33pm
Sleaker@AE - I've never seen youtube as a great portal to interact with people from a comment perspective. like ever. The whole interface doesn't really promote that.07/24/2014 - 5:28pm
 

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