Items tagged with FCC

You know what everyone hates? Robocalls. AT&T, Apple, Google, Verizon, and Comcast are joining together to create the “Robocall Strike Force” which will work with the FCC to eliminate the annoyance. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson will lead the effort. A robocall is a phone call with a prerecorded message, and are often used to defraud people. Time Warner Cable was actually forced to pay $230,000 USD in July 2015 for robocalling one woman 153 times. One of the worst cases of fraud is when people fall for a robocall claiming it is from the IRS. This practice is so prevalent that the IRS has... Read more...
A filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveals just how adamant Google is about building out a wireless version Fiber, its high-speed Internet service that offers up to 1Gbps upload and download speeds in select locations across the United States. The wireless transmission technology is already being tested in Kansas City, which is one of the locations where Fiber service is offered, and Google wants permission to expand.According to the redacted FCC filing, Google wants to use "experimental transmitters" in around two dozen locations, including several cities in California and... Read more...
The Federal Communications Commission led by chairman Tom Wheeler suffered a setback today in its plan to encourage and allow cities to build and expand their own broadband networks, as a federal appeals court ruled the agency didn't have the authority to block two states from setting limits on municipal broadband expansion. Municipalities in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina wanted to expand their broadband networks to neighboring communities and counties, which would increase competition with private Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that have regional monopolies. However, there... Read more...
Should privacy on the internet come at a premium? FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler does not think so. Wheeler has been battling ISP’s in order to guarantee that all internet customers have an equal amount of privacy. He remarked, “I would hope that privacy doesn't become a luxury item”. This comment is an obvious snub to both AT&T and Comcast who offer discounts to customers if they agree to let go of some of their privacy or charge a premium for extra privacy. AT&T charges customers $30 to $50 USD more per month if they want to opt out of "Internet Preferences”. This program tracks user’s browsing... Read more...
AT&T and the FCC are butting heads, but for once, it is not over net neutrality. AT&T has been fined $7.75 million USD for indirectly participating in a directory assistance billing scam. Affected customers are expected to receive $6.8 million of these funds while the remaining $950,000 is a fine that will go to the United States Treasury. AT&T essentially allowed third-party scammers to charge customers $9 per month for a non-existent “directory assistance service”. FCC Chief Travis LeBlanc remarked, “Today’s settlement ensures that AT&T customers who were charged for this sham... Read more...
Internet providers are still hashing out issues with the FCC. In particular, Comcast is currently defend its “pay-for-privacy” model to the FCC [PDF]. Comcast has even contended that  “the FCC has no authority to prohibit or limit these types of programs.”So what exactly is the “pay-for-privacy” system? Essentially, companies like Comcast offers discounts to customers in exchange for allowing ISP's to use their data. Comcast then floods these customers with various behaviorally-targeted ads. Customers who prefer privacy over pricing are charged a premium.Several weeks ago a number of lawmakers... Read more...
It seems that the net neutrality battle is just getting started. The National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA), and the American Cable Association (ACA) want the federal courts to repeal its ruling on net neutrality.What is the net neutrality mandate? The FCC has authority to regulate broadband internet service as a utility. Internet providers are also no longer able to implement “fast lanes” for services that are willing to pay a premium. This prevents ISP’s from favoring their own streaming services and charging fees for third-party... Read more...
The Federal Communications Commission pointed its finger at the telecommunications industry over the weekend and asked for decisive action to be taken against the growing problem of robocalls, a move that prompted AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson to respond by spearheading a new Robocalling Strike Force. Sounds intimidating, doesn't it? AT&T says the Strike Force's mission will be to "accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions to abate the proliferation of robocoalls and to make recommendations to the FCC on the role government can play in this battle." It almost sounds... Read more...
Yesterday the FCC voted to adopt new rules that would facilitate the development of 5G wireless networks. Today the Obama Administration announced that it will launch launch a $400 million Advanced Wireless Research Initiative led by the National Science Foundation (NSF).The administration claimed that these next steps are simply building on the “President’s legacy of forward-leaning broadband policy”. When President Obama signed the Recovery Act into law, he funded nearly $5 billion in broadband investments. This included more than 114,000 miles of broadband infrastructure. He supported “Dig... Read more...
The FCC just voted to adopt new rules that would facilitate the development of 5G wireless networks. This vote makes the United States the first country in the world to make spectrum available and set guidelines for it. These plans have been in the works since Spring, and have finally come to fruition. The rules particularly apply to wireless broadband operations in frequencies above 24 GHz. They will open up nearly 11 GHz of high-frequency spectrum for flexible, mobile and fixed use wireless broadband – 3.85 GHz of licensed spectrum and 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum. The FCC just created a new... Read more...
Today's wireless networks can handle applications like Snapchat, but what about the emergence of virtual reality? FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said his eyes were opened to the need for significantly faster wireless signals when he donned a pair of VR goggles in Washington, DC, and controlled an excavator to dig up dirt 1,400 miles away in Texas. "Granted, remotely digging dirt in Dallas probably isn't high on the list of transformational advancements that will define the 21st century. But what if you replace the heavy machinery with a scalpel so a world-class surgeon can move from hospital to hospital... Read more...
The FCC has another battle on their hands. On Thursday, the “Future of TV” Coalition, a group consisting of mostly of the top TV providers, released plans for their “Ditch the Box” campaign. The pay-TV industry would commit to creating apps to allow consumers to watch programs without needing to lease a box. The FCC could implement regulations enforcing the commitment. This legislation would potentially affect roughly 50 million subscribers. A trade group supported by Google, Netflix, and Amazon has criticized the plan for being a ploy to delay negotiations. INCOMPAS, a law firm that represents... Read more...
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the rest of the gang were all smiles on Tuesday when a federal appeals court completely upheld the agency's 400-page Open Internet Order, a set of net neutrality rules that wireless carriers and broadband service providers must abide by. The FCC emerged the victor as a result of a 2-1 ruling in its favor. The ruling reinforces the FCC's authority and power to regulate broadband Internet service as a utility, similar to phone service, and to lay out rules to prevent what it deems are unfair practices for consumers. One of the biggest net neutrality rules is that ISPs... Read more...
There are enough bad drivers on the road as it is, but what's particularly frustrating is seeing a fellow motorist drive recklessly as a result of using a mobile phone. Jason R. Humphrey from Florida must have seen it one too many times, hence his decision to use a cell phone jammer during his commute. That decision will cost him tens of thousands of dollars. The Federal Communications Commission fined Mr. Humphrey $48,000 for using a cell phone jammer in his car going to and from his place of employment in Tampa. Mr. Humphrey managed to evade detection and interfere with cellular service along... Read more...
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