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
Time Warner Cable announced that it will bring its metered broadband offer nationwide, leaving many consumers with an inkling of common sense to ask the question: "Why?" The Time Warner broadband plan, called "Internet Essentials," gives a meager $5 discount to subscribers willing to stay below a 5 GB data cap each month.
This week member countries of the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU) got together in Dubai to discuss revising the world's telecommunications regulations, much to the chagrin of Internet advocacy groups and companies that do business on the Internet. Advocacy groups are concerned that the group will propose new rules on the Internet that will limit privacy, anonymity, institute new fees for Internet-based business, and even charge tariffs or taxes.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations committee that oversees global telecommunications treaties and laws will meet in Dubai from December 3-14. The organization is already taking heat for some of the proposals it wants to push that seem to limit free speech and take control away from the independent organizations (based in the U.S.) that handle the everyday workings of the Internet.
Late last week several amicus briefs were filed taking exception to Verizon's argument in its federal court case against the FCC's net neutrality rules, calling their claim of "censorship" hypocritical. Those filing amicus briefs included the Center for Democracy and Technology (also co-signed by a group of law professors), a brief written by former FCC chief Reed Hundt (co-signed by several other former FCC commissioners), and
The lead lobbyist for Comcast freely admits that he used the promise of a new low-cost internet service for poor people as leverage against the FCC when the company was seeking to merge with NBC Universal in 2009. The news comes from a Washington Post profile DC lobbyist David Cohen, who has led Comcast's policy and lobbying efforts in the capital for over a decade.
Last week we wrote a story about how the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) had named Stroz Friedberg to be its "impartial and independent technology expert" to review claims of copyright infringement as part of the new "Six Strikes" enforcement rules. The "Six Strikes" system was agreed upon by the MPAA, RIAA, and five major ISPs but one of the core tenets was that it would have an independent body to investigate the validity of claims of copyright infringement against file-sharers.