Items tagged with Tom Wheeler

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...
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...
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...
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...
It looks as though North Carolina’s municipal Internet fight is about to get a bit nastier. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has “gone to the mattresses” in order to stop the FCC from exerting its power over state affairs. But before we get into this latest development, we need a bit of a backgrounder.  The towns of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina were at a time home to underdeveloped and poor-performing Internet solutions from companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable. When neither ISP expressed any willingness to offer customers faster Internet speeds, both... Read more...
Late last week, we reported on the lack of sympathy FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). While ISPs complain about how net neutrality -- and especially Title II classification -- could stifle innovation and hurt competition, Wheeler's response was a simple: "You don't have a lot of competition." Not that we'd expect it to, but nothing has changed with either Wheeler's or the FCC's stance since those comments were made. On Friday, the agency responded to a May 1 request by ISPs and related groups to delay the roll out of these... Read more...
Not everyone is happy with the Federal Communications Commission's decision to reclassify broadband Internet service as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934; an 81-year-old law intended to regulate the telecommunications sector. In particular, wireless carriers, Internet service providers, and republicans are miffed at the FCC's actions and plan to take matters to court. No worries, says FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Wheeler gave a speech at Ohio State University where he emphatically stated that the net neutrality rules, as laid out by reclassifying... 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...
The Federal Communications Commission has been considering the implementation of new neutrality rules in an attempt to determine how internet service providers should manage web traffic on their networks. The outcry against the FCC and the concept of “fast lanes,” in addition to treating IPSs more like public utility companies, continues to grow with many network companies and equipment manufacturers going so far as to tell U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker how these policies could hurt the internet and U.S. economy. The latest group to join the protests and outcry are 33 companies... Read more...
Ever since Tom Wheeler unveiled a plan last month that would allow Internet Service Providers to charge for paid content prioritization, accusations have flown thick and fast that the proposed rules would effectively kill net neutrality. On the side of "Scrap Wheeler's net neutrality plan" you have more than 100 corporations including Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter. On the side of "Allowed paid prioritization" you have... well, the ISPs who see it as a marvelous way to increase profits without improving the quality of their product. Now, a pair of Democrats -- Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) and Doris... Read more...
The FCC has confirmed that it will hold a May 15 vote on a new set of policies governing net neutrality and ISP behavior -- but according to the Wall Street Journal, the commission's proposed regulation will effectively kill the idea of a level playing field. The Wall Street Journal reports that the proposed rules would prevent ISPs from blocking specific websites, but would allow them to charge services like Netflix an additional fee for better access to end users. The paper claims that all "commercially reasonable" agreements would be permitted, with deals investigated on a case-by-case basis... Read more...