Items tagged with FCC

Comcast has sparked the ire of customers across the country with its restrictive broadband data caps. Earlier this week, we reported that during the first half of 2015, Comcast received 863 complaints about its data caps. However, for the second half of the year, those complaints skyrocketed to nearly 8,000 as it expanded its data cap “trials” to additional markets. And it’s not just customers that are fed up with data caps; the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has also let it be known that it won’t tolerate such nonsense. In fact, the FCC stipulated that in order for Charter to win approval... Read more...
Much to the chagrin of cable TV providers that profit from leasing out set-top boxes to customers, the Obama administration joined the Federal Communications Commission in pushing for changes that would give consumers the option of buying less expensive third-party boxes that would offer full functionality with their TV service. At the beginning of the year, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a proposal that would do exactly that. The FCC ultimately approved the proposal by a 3-2 vote, which kicked off a 60-day "information-gathering process" to give the FCC and cable providers a chance to work out... Read more...
Early last month, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler revealed a proposal that would give low-income Americans a monthly subsidy to help cover the cost of home broadband Internet access. Wheeler explained that the subsidy would be made possible thanks to updates to the Lifeline program, which has drawn its fair share of controversy over the years. The FCC today announced the measure was approved in a 3-2 vote, predictably split along ideological lines with the three Democratic appointees voting for, and the three Republican appointees voting against. The main reason... Read more...
During his tenure as FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler has taken on the telecom industry with net neutrality, and more recently, is looking to upend the cable box market by forcing cable and satellite providers to open their services to third-party hardware manufacturers. Now, Wheeler is turning his attention to another hot topic in the tech sphere these days — privacy. Wheeler penned a blog post this afternoon that outlines the FCC’s proposal for new privacy regulations that would require your Internet Service Provider (ISP) — be it a home-based service like Comcast or Time Warner Cable, or a wireless... Read more...
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is looking to give poor Americans greater access to the Internet via an update to the controversial Lifeline program. The proposal, which would give low-income Americans a $9.25 monthly subsidy for home broadband access, is meant to bridge the technological gap between the haves and the have-nots. According to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, only 48 percent of households with a total income of less than $25,000 per year can afford to have high-speed Internet at home. However, it should come as no shock that the number climbs to 95 percent for American households... Read more...
Just over a year ago, lawmakers asked for the assistance of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in investigating Verizon’s use of supercookies to track users. After a lengthy investigation, the FCC returned its verdict today, fining Verizon $1.35 million for tracking users without their consent in an effort to deliver targeted advertising. For those that might not remember, a supercookie, which is technically called a Unique Identifier Header (UIDH), is inserted into Internet traffic and cannot be removed like traditional cookies used by Internet browsers. Supercookies are persistent, are... Read more...
If anyone was concerned that appointing a former cable industry insider as the FCC chairman would mean that the regulatory body would favor the cable industry, those concerns have been completely obliterated over the past few years. First there was the ruling on net neutrality, which sent telecoms into a tizzy, and we have a ruling that already has the cable industry spitting fire. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a proposal last month that would give cable customers the freedom to ditch their service provider-supplied cable box in favor of units made by third-parties. Making this move would not... Read more...
The Federal Communications Commission is looking into various wireless plans with so called zero-rating services to see if they run afoul of net neutrality legislation, including T-Mobile's popular Binge On program. In case the FCC is need of any advice on the matter, T-Mobile has a message for the agency—"tread lightly.""The commission has to tread lightly," said Kathleen Ham, Vice President of Federal Regulatory Affairs at T-Mobile. "And certainly more lightly than for the wired world in the wireless space — when there is so much experimentation happening, so much differentiation happening. And... Read more...
It’s hard to believe that anyone in the United States expects the cable industry to react quickly to anything; be it customer complaints, innovation, or even something as simple as showing up on time for a scheduled service appointments. However, if you threaten a steady revenue stream for America’s cable giants, there’s sure to be a swift and furious response. Such was the case when the FCC issued a proposal that would give customers more choice when it comes to accessing cable video content, allowing them to save hundreds of dollars in fees at the same time. Under the FCC’s proposal, cable companies... Read more...
If there’s one U.S. industry that could use a healthy dose or regulation, it’s likely the cable industry. The cable industry has been slow to change and adapt to new technologies because existing regulations have allowed it to basically get it way, commanding service monopolies (or duopolies) in most regions and fighting tooth and nail to thwart any fresh competition (i.e. municipal broadband). The FCC has taken steps to weaken the power of cable companies in recent years by siding with towns looking to offer their own Internet services, and it now looks as though the regulatory body has another... Read more...
T-Mobile’s Binge On initiative at first seemed like a pretty good deal for its customers. In exchange for reduced video quality (480p), T-Mobile customers could enjoy unlimited streaming from partner services including Hulu and Netflix without hitting their monthly data pool. Initially, FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler gave Binge On the thumbs up, stating that it is an “innovative” service. "It's clear in the Open Internet Order that we said we are pro-competition and pro innovation. Clearly this meets both of those criteria. It's highly innovative and highly competitive," added Wheeler. However, upon... Read more...
Several Internet service providers (ISPs) have drawn the attention of the Federal Communications Commission with so-called "zero-rating" offerings, which is the practice of exempting certain services from counting against a customer's data cap. What FCC chairman Tom Wheeler wants to figure out is whether or not zero-rating services run afoul of net neutrality rules. This is a relatively new thing on the part of mobile operators. T-Mobile made waves when it introduced Binge On, which allows customers to stream an unlimited amount of video from over 20 services, including Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu,... Read more...
It probably won't come as much surprise that Comcast and its customers aren't on the same page when it comes to data caps. Simply put, Comcast is in favor of charging extra when a customer goes over a set amount of data per month, while customers despise them and have filed over 13,000 related complaints with the Federal Communications Commission. Here's the thing, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts doesn't like the term "data cap" because hey, if you're a Comcast customer and you reach your monthly data allotment, the ISP will happily charge you a fee for more data. In other words, there's no off switch... Read more...
T-Mobile's been on a mission to disrupt the wireless market, hence why it calls itself the un-carrier. One of the more recent and controversial initiatives to come from T-Mobile is Binge On, a program that allows that allows customers to access certain streaming services without it counting against their data caps. On the surface, that sounds like a net neutrality violation, though Federal Communication Commission Tom Wheeler says there's nothing wrong with what T-Mobile's doing.Just the opposite, Mr. Wheeler praised the program as "innovative" when a reporter asked if it raises any net neutrality... Read more...
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