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.
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."
The Denver Post has an interesting story on Colorado Senate Bill 287, which was introduced Monday and passed out of committee on Wednesday. Apparently this "bipartisan effort" to "connect rural Colorado to broadband Internet service" scares the hell out of Colorado carriers and technology companies in the State.
Under a new proposal put forward this week as part of the European Union’s Digital Agenda for Europe, all member states would offer a minimum level of 30Mbps broadband to everybody by the year 2020. One of the roadblocks to this lofty goal seems to be a lack of funding; last month over $9 billion earmarked for broadband deployment was cut from the EU budget. Despite this major setback, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes is still pushing for hitting that 2020 target.
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.
If you need a laugh to end your Friday on then this story over at The Verge will probably do the trick. In it a Time Warner Cable executive responded to a question about Google's impressive broadband speeds on its new Kansas City broadband fiber network by saying that its customers don't want the blazingly fast speeds that a gigabit internet could provide. Wait, what?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Speaking at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam on Wednesday, Eidos Life President Ian Livingstone said that broadband bottlenecks around the world are slowing down the game industry's transition from the physical to the digital world, and urged telecommunications companies to build more broadband infrastructure.
"What we need is super-speed broadband,″ said Livingstone. "You're kind of holding us back in many respects."
Is your broadband service provider throttling your connection because you hit a data cap or are you just being paranoid and unreasonable when your connection's bandwidth seems to slow down dramatically? According to this GIGA OM report, more than 64 percent of broadband subscribers in the U.S. have a cap on data usage.
The Declaration of Internet Freedom may not be getting as much national attention as it should from the mainstream media (despite several members of Congress and the Senate strongly and publicly supporting it), but Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian (who also had a hand in helping draft the document) has some plans to get it noticed by the general public.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has to do more to police and ensure mobile and broadband competition across the country, said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in a speech earlier this week.
He also said that the agency must resist calls for various corners of government and the private sector to eliminate or phase out regulation of broadband and mobile carriers.
"Competition is the lifeblood of our free-market economy, driving private investment, innovation and consumer value," he said. "The more competition, the less need for regulation."
The Federal Communications Commission has started backpedaling after a loud and public outcry from rights groups and netizens about their proposal to tax broadband Internet services. Democrat and Republican commissioners at the agency are now pointing fingers at each other for bringing up the hot-button issue in the first place.
Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai thinks that the Google Fiber in Kansas City is the cat's pajamas, calling it a model for other metropolitan areas to follow. He says the deal shows that "it is critically important that states and local communities adopt broadband-friendly policies when it comes to rights-of-way management."
The Federal Communications Commission announced today that it will start monitoring and reporting on mobile broadband speeds across the country. The FCC said that it will begin a review process of mobile networks in the U.S. with a meeting on Sept. 21. The end goal is to provide consumers with a report card for those networks. The new effort is part of the FCC’s overall National Broadband Plan, and has gained support from both major wireless carriers and the CTIA.
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."
In an editorial on Ars Technica internet advocacy group Free Press described the FCC's move to tax broadband as a way to fund broadband infrastructure growth in the U.S. as misguided. Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner says that the proposed $1 - $5 tax on customers would ultimately be turned over to companies like AT&T who have been slowly pulling out of the broadband business anyway.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PC maker Lenovo revealed this week a new "no-contract" mobile broadband service, available exclusively to owners of select ThinkPad laptops. The cloud-based service is called Lenovo Mobile Access and comes with ThinkPad Classic and ThinkPad Edge brand laptops. According to the company, this service provides "pre-connected, always-on, customizable connectivity to the Internet and corporate networks" and is available in multiple territories including the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
The White House announced this morning that President Obama will sign an Executive Order tomorrow that makes building out broadband in the United States faster and cheaper as it relates to Federal land and highways. The White House also announced the US Ignite broadband initiative with the help of one-hundred "partners."
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.
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.