Items tagged with FCC

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...
Have you ever felt like you're being followed? Excuse us for feeding into your paranoia, but you are being tracked. It happens each and every time you surf the web, and it's going to keep happening, even if you've enabled that feel-good "Do Not Track" setting in your browser that most websites and online services ignore. They ignore it because they can, and the Federal Communications Commission isn't stepping in to help. Consumer Watchdog just tried forcing the FCC's hand by petitioning the government agency to "initiate a rulemaking proceeding requiring 'edge providers (like Google, Facebook,... Read more...
You would have thought that companies would have wised up after Marriott was caught using unlicensed jamming equipment in conference rooms to block the Wi-Fi hotspots of its paying customers. Predictably, when hotel patrons would complain about not being able to access the Internet with their smartphones or mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, hotel personnel would offer their own high-speed Internet services at a cost of $250 to $1,000. Needless to say, the FCC wasn’t amused by Marriott’s actions at its Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, so it stepped in and fined Marriott... Read more...
Just over a month ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) really stuck it to AT&T, fining the communications giant a whopping $100 million fine for misleading customers with regards to throttling data speeds. After hearing from thousands of disgruntled customers over the past few years that complained about throttling, the FCC decided that it had heard enough. “Unlimited means unlimited,” said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc when the record fine was announced. “As today’s action demonstrates, the Commission is committed to holding accountable those broadband providers who... Read more...
It's official -- AT&T is now the proud owner of DirecTV, making it the largest pay TV provider in the U.S. and the world. The $49 billion acquisition bumps AT&T's customer base in the U.S. to 26 million, along with 19 million customers in Latin America, including Mexico and the Caribbean. It also makes AT&T and mega-force in the sports world. DirecTV enjoyed exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, an add-on that allows customers to watch every out-of-market NFL game on their TVs, mobile devices, and PCs. As a DirecTV subscriber myself and displaced Boston sports fan, NFL Sunday Ticket... Read more...
AT&T may have failed in its attempt to acquire rival wireless provider T-Mobile for $39 billion back in 2011, but as for its proposed $48.5 billion acquisition of satellite TV service giant DirecTV, federal regulators are set to approve the deal. Doing so would end a more than yearlong review process that began in May of 2014 when the deal was first announced. While the deal is set to be approved, there are several conditions that AT&T must follow, all of which are outlined in an order Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated to the agency's other commissioners... Read more...
AT&T just doesn’t seem to be able to keep it nose clean when it comes to its “old” unlimited data plans. While AT&T has done a pretty amazing job of shifting the majority of its smartphone customers over to more lucrative (for AT&T) Mobile Share Value plans, it still has to contend with unlimited data customers that it feels are abusing the service. However, the company has handled the matter in a somewhat shady fashion for the past four years. Needless to say, the FCC isn’t too happy about the games that AT&T has played in the past, and has fined the company $100 million for misleading... Read more...
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Tom Wheeler has asked the wireless industry to voluntarily support the addition of features that would make it more difficult and/or less desirable for for thieves to steal mobile phones. A couple of the measures the FCC would like to see smartphone makers and wireless carriers adopt include remote lock and remote wiping."If implemented, these features will result in more consumers using these powerful features which, in turn, will mark a key milestone in combating smartphone theft," Wheeler said in a statement.It's also being recommended that the... Read more...
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