Items tagged with FCC

Privacy is hard to come by on the Internet, that's just the way it is. But hey, at least wireless carries and Internet service providers (ISPs) are not selling your browsing history without your permission right? Well, we're sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the House of Representatives narrowly voted 215-205 to repeal broadband privacy rules that were recently introduced under the Obama administration. The bill eked a majority vote among party lines in the Senate (50-48) last week before it headed to the House of Representatives. In both cases, a simple majority vote was needed to pass the... Read more...
Earlier this month, we told you about a Senate bill that would undo what had been deemed overreaching “midnight regulations” by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that were aimed at protecting consumer privacy. Today, the Senate voted along party lines (50-48) to kill the FCC measure that would require ISPs to gain consent before sharing customers' browsing data. The bill was authored by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. The vote to dismantle the FCC’s privacy rules was the result of the Congressional Review Act,... Read more...
If you listened to rap music in the early 1990s, you undoubtedly heard Flava Flav spit rhymes to "911 is a Joke," the song he is most famous for. However, it was no laughing matter when mobile phone users subscribed to AT&T's wireless service were unable to call 911 emergency dispatchers in more than a dozen states on Wednesday night. Service has since been restored, but given the seriousness of the situation, the FCC has opened an investigation into what went wrong. During the outage, law enforcement and emergency response officials were on social media warning people across the nation of... Read more...
Many American congressman are determined to overturn the “midnight regulations” of the previous administration. The United States Senate’s latest bill proposal would reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s rules and allow ISPs to share private data without the consent of the consumer. Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, remarked, “The FCC's midnight regulation does nothing to protect consumer privacy. It is unnecessary, confusing, and adds yet another innovation-stifling regulation to the Internet. My resolution... Read more...
Earlier this morning, we reported that Verizon is preparing to green light 5G wireless customer trials in the United States in mid-2017. T-Mobile isn’t quite ready to show its hand with regards to 5G wireless, but it is looking to extend LTE’s longevity with the launch of LTE-U this spring. LTE-U will allow T-Mobile customers to take advantage of 20MHz of “underutilized unlicensed spectrum” on the 5GHz band. T-Mobile says that this will expand capacity and allow it to offer even faster speeds on its nationwide wireless network. It will also provide a basis for T-Mobile’s plans to blanket the country... Read more...
FM radio — is that still a thing? We’re mostly kidding, but many of us don’t have (or miss having) FM radio functionality on our smartphones these days, not when we have services like Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music and Tidal to satisfy our music needs. However, did you know that your smartphone probably has support for FM broadcast built-in, but it just isn’t enabled by the manufacturer? And it could be available to you, totally free of charge.  Newly installed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai wants to change this situation. Pai took over the position from Tom Wheeler... Read more...
While nothing is yet official, word inside Washington is that President Donald Trump will assign GOP commissioner Ajit Pai to serve as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Pai was nominated to the FCC by former President Barack Obama and was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate in 2012. Since he has already been confirmed by the agency, he could step right into the role without approval by the Senate. Pai met with Trump on Monday and is widely viewed as the top contender for the job based in part on his experience as a telecom law expert and comfortable demeanor... Read more...
Secret projects seemed to abound this past week. First, Facebook published job listings for their mysterious B8 team, and now Amazon is seeking permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for secret mobile wireless tests. Amazon claims that the issuance of an experimental license is in “public interest, convenience, and necessity”. Amazon did not specify what it would be testing, but indicated that the prototypes were designed to support “innovative communications capabilities and functionalities”. Furthermore, former NASA astronaut and current Prime Air manager Neil Woodward has... Read more...
There was a point in time when NVIDIA was at least considering the release of a second generation SHIELD Portable device. We know this because a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that is stuffed with pictures has been made public. NVIDIA submitted the filing around the middle of last year with a short-term confidentiality request that is good for 180 days, and with that now having expired the filing has been making the rounds on the web.Given that NVIDIA recently announced an upgraded SHIELD TV set-top box with support for 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) but made no mention... Read more...
With just a few months to go before Nintendo releases its next generation game console, the Nintendo Switch, we still know very little about the system. Much of what has been gathered about the Switch has been the result of leaks and online detective work by savvy individuals who willing to comb the web for clues. One of the newest ones was found in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and it points to the Switch using a non-removable battery. "The battery is had (sic) built-in in the EUT, and the user can't remove the battery," reads a blurb in one of the documents Nintendo... Read more...
AT&T and Verizon have struck the latest blow in the battle between themselves and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC had given the telecommunication corporations until December 15th to respond to its concerns over net neutrality and zero-rating services. AT&T and Verizon have spat out their vituperative responses. First off, what is “zero-rating”? Zero-rating is when mobile network operators (MNOs) and ISPs do not charge customers for data used by specific applications or internet services through their network, in limited or metered data plans. According to the FCC, AT&T's... Read more...
Telecommunications corporations are under fire again. The Federal Communications Commission has accused Verizon and AT&T of violating net neutrality rules with their “zero-ratings” promotions. Jon Wilkins, the chief of wireless telecommunication for the FCC, sent a letter of complaint to both corporations. First off, what is “zero-rating”? Zero-rating is when mobile network operators (MNOs) and ISPs do not charge customers for data used by specific applications or internet services through their network, in limited or metered data plans. Verizon and AT&T introduced their own zero-rating... Read more...
President-Elect Donald Trump is in full swing when it comes to filling out positions in his incoming administration. Although we’re reluctant to delve into unrelated topics like picks for Secretary of Defense or Treasury Director, we did take notice of Trump’s appointment of Mark Jamison as a member of his tech policy transition team. One of the pressing matters on his plate is to plot out a new course for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which Jamison has recently stated should be effectively dismantled. Jamison describes the FCC, currently under the leadership of Chairman Tom Wheeler,... Read more...
If you're in the market for a new tablet that also doubles as an e-reader, you may want to hold off for just a little bit. Rumors suggest Barnes & Noble will be releasing a new iteration of its NOOK Tablet in the very near future to battle in the low-end sector of the tablet market traditionally dominated by the Amazon Kindle Fire. According to the leaked specs, it seems certain that this NOOK, called Tablet 7, will not be that expensive. It is likely being used to help Barnes & Noble better compete against the likes of Amazon, which itself offers a meager-spec'd Fire tablet for a... Read more...
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