Items tagged with FCC

The broadband situation in America right now isn't ideal, and in fact, some might call it appalling. While it doesn't take much effort to find people with high-speed connections, there remain many out there who don't have one. And even worse, in some cases they might only have access to one ISP. Well, with even president Obama urging for net neutrality to pass, as well as to see our Internet become a title II class utility, the broadband situation has got to change. And now, with the FFC's reclassifying of what broadband actually is... I guess we're on our way. Previously, the FCC denoted... Read more...
After being hit with a $600,000 fine by the Federal Communications Commission over its Wi-Fi blocking efforts, the Marriott International thought better of its ill-advised policy and vowed to no longer block guests from using their personal Wi-Fi devices at any of its managed hotels. Score a point for consumers, and kudos to the FCC, which has now taken things a step further by outright prohibiting people and businesses from intentionally interfering with Wi-Fi hotspots.In an FCC Enforcement Advisory issued this week, the FCC noted a "disturbing trend" by hotels and other commercial establishments... Read more...
It seems as though cooler heads have prevailed over at Marriott International. The hotel chain has decided to drop plans that would block customers from using their own personal Wi-Fi hotspots -- Internet services that they have already paid for -- and push them to use overpriced Marriott Internet services. Marriott posted the following message to its official site this week: Marriott International listens to its customers, and we will not block guests from using their personal Wi-Fi devices at any of our managed hotels.  Marriott remains committed to protecting the security of Wi-Fi access... Read more...
President Obama traveled to Cedar Falls, Iowa today to make an early announcement ahead of his State of The Union address. The president is setting out to highlight what he views as a need for some U.S. cities to have better choices when it comes to high speed Internet. He will be encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to pressure states in which cities have inadequate Internet connectivity. Screen grab: Affordable High Speed For All Americans. Image credit: Whitehouse.gov The issue stems from some situations in which major broadband suppliers either avoid a particular city or refuse... Read more...
After far-too-many years of waiting, it looks like the Federal Communications Commission is set to both propose and vote on net neutrality rules next month. According to a Washington Post source, FCC chief Tom Wheeler plans to circulate a draft internally sometime this month, hoping to iron out the last kinks to make sure that there are no issues with approval next month. At this point, I think it'd be safe to remain a little cautious about what's to come. One reason is FCC's Tom Wheeler, someone who's become infamous for going against the grain of public interest in this matter. Plus, let's not... Read more...
We’ve all encountered this issue. You check into your hotel room and attempt to connect to the complementary Wi-Fi network only to find that it’s slow as molasses, transporting you back to a time when a 56K modem was considered hot stuff. And even when you are forced to pay a daily “Resort Fee” to access Wi-Fi, download speeds typically aren’t much better and really bog down during evening hours. Marriott’s Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee came under fire from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) back in October, when an investigation concluded that the... Read more...
It's always a good idea to comb through your wireless phone bill each and every month to make sure you aren't being hit with any unauthorized charges, such as ringtones, screensavers, and other third-party items that you never agreed to purchase. It's a practice known as bill cramming, and it's something the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) takes very seriously. The FCC is so serious that it may slap Sprint with a hefty fine for allowing its customers to be charged for services they never wanted or requested. According to Reuters, FCC commissioners are currently reviewing the situation... Read more...
U.S. schools and libraries are about to receive $1.5 billion in additional funding for broadband Internet, thanks to the FCC. The money will bolster the Universal Service Fund (also known as E-Rate), which helps schools across the country obtain affordable high-speed Internet access and wireless networking equipment, often through subsidies. The decision means you will see an increase in fees on both your landline and mobile phone bills. FCC Chairman Thomas. E. WheelerU.S. citizens already pay 99 cents per phone line each month to the E-Rate program. That fee will increase to $1.15. “If demand... Read more...
Out of all the things you carry on your person, a smartphone is likely to be the most valuable item, or at least one of them (a concealed weapon or a Rolex watch could trump your handheld). The high dollar value of any given smartphone is part of what makes them so attractive to thieves, hence why it's not all that shocking to discover that over a million smartphones are stolen each year in the U.S. according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC released a report (PDF) this week on the subject of smartphone theft, and in it, the government organization provides... Read more...
Every hardware maker has constraints -- be it battery life, heat, size, or available materials. On the design front, one challenge that has thus far been impossible to overcome is the FCC stamp that has to be imprinted on the exterior of any device certified for use amongst the United States' airwaves. Now, that's history. President Obama signed the E-Label Act into law, enabling gadget makers to place that tiny logo in software within a product rather than on the outside.It seems fairly small in the grand scheme of politics, but it was a bi-partisan bill that had little issue sweeping support... Read more...
T-Mobile has been the target of much consumer ire in the past due to the way it throttles user bandwidth and tries to keep it a secret. If you regularly use the Internet on your phone, it's going to be obvious when the performance is less than what you're used to getting. For many, at the first sign of poor network performance, a website like Speedtest is visited in order to gauge whether it's just a download going slow, or the website you're on. The problem T-Mobile customers faced was that Speedtest results would come back just as expected, with no degradation. In actuality, T-Mobile simply detects... Read more...
The Federal Communications Commission is in the process of auctioning off 65 megahertz of the electromagnetic spectrum and it is going very well. As of Friday, bidding for six blocks of airwaves has reached an unprecedented amount sailing north of $34 billion.This particular auction, which started November 13, is now three times the reserve price of $10.5 billion that the FCC put on the sale. One of the factors that has contributed to the high bidding war is the fact that this is the first such auction in six years. “Years of hard effort paved the way for the AWS-3 auction, in which 70 applicants... Read more...
Everyone is waiting to see what the Federal Communications Commission will rule when it comes to net neutrality. However, the FCC is preparing itself for a lawsuit from cable companies in response to when it finally votes net neutrality regulations into place. At least that is what FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said earlier today.According to The Hill, Wheeler said, “The big dogs are going to sue regardless of what comes out. We need to make sure that we have sustainable rules, and that starts with making sure that we have addressed the multiplicity of issues that come along and are likely to be raised."Wheeler... Read more...
If Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler gets his way, phone bills will go up by 16 cents a month, or $2 per year, as part of a plan to fund faster Internet access in schools. This would apply to the E-Rate fee that appears on phone bills, which is a program to fund Internet access to schools and libraries. Wheeler and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass) fielded a conference call to introduce the proposal. Both are in agreement that the current program needs rebooted, stressing that there's a growing divide between schools in well-to-do neighborhoods and those in lower-income, rural... Read more...
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