Items tagged with FCC

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...
Today is a good day: net neutrality rules are now active. Despite the fact that some companies have initiated legal action against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for its approval of net neutrality rules, the US Court of Appeals has worked in its favor by refusing to put a halt on things, stating "petitioners have not satisfied the stringent requirements". Since the FCC approved net neutrality back in February, there's been a ton of excitement from regular consumers and much angst from the biggest ISPs. About a month after the approval, AT&T, Verizon, and others, decided to... Read more...
AT&T's loathing of the FCC's Open Internet Order isn't as strong as its desire to acquire satellite TV provider DirecTV. As such, the telecom is expected to put into writing a promise to abide by the FCC's net neutrality rules in order so that the government organization will be comfortable in green lighting the proposed $48.5 billion merger. This is a big deal for AT&T, a major telecom that's been vehemently opposed to the agency's net neutrality rules, or at least the way it went about implementing them. The FCC earlier this year was successful in reclassifying broadband Internet as a... Read more...
A Bloomberg report that came out on Memorial Day was right on the money when it came to Charter’s ambitions to take on cable juggernaut Comcast. Bloomberg learned that Charter would scoop up Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $195 per share, valuing the transaction at roughly $55 billion. Charter confirmed the acquisition this morning, valuing each TWC share at approximately $195.71. The transaction has an equity value of $55.76 billion, but TWC has long-term debt of $22.64 billion which value the entire whole shebang at over $78 billion. The TWC acquisition will vault Charter from fourth place in the... 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...
Long before the FCC passed its net neutrality rules, the agency's chairman, Tom Wheeler, didn't instill much confidence in those who favored them. This hinged on comments Wheeler previously made -- some of which made it sound like he didn't properly understand why net neutrality was important. Fueling this anxiety further was the fact that Wheeler once worked for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. Leading up to the passing of net neutrality rules, though, opinions of Wheeler began to do a 180°. Refreshingly, Wheeler's comments were legitimate, and... Read more...
Speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York on Monday, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler went on record with his thoughts on the now-dead $42 billion bid by Comcast to absorb Time-Warner Cable (TWC), saying that he thought Comcast CEO Brian Roberts made a "really good decision" in choosing to end the takeover attempt rather than continue the fight. The punditry at large thought that Philadelphia-based Comcast's bid for its New York City rival — which was launched in February 2014 — would sail through antitrust reviews, however, the FCC virtually sealed its doom when they called for a hearing,... Read more...
As expected would happen, AT&T along with several other telecoms and cable companies have reportedly filed a stay request to prevent the Federal Communications Commission from reclassifying broadband Internet service as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act, a piece of legislation that's over 80 years old.The FCC made the ruling back in February, and by reclassifying broadband as a public utility, the government arm gave itself power to implement net neutrality rules. At the same time, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler made it clear that the fear mongering over implementing dated... Read more...
The opposition to the $45 billion Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is growing. Late last week, we reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) antitrust division is damn near close to recommending that the deal be nuked. The DOJ’s recommendations could ultimately lead to a lawsuit aimed at stopping the deal in its tracks. For its part, Comcast contends that a merger with TWC would be good for consumers. “There is no basis for a lawsuit to block the transaction,” said Comcast spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice last week. Fitzmaurice went on to add that the deal would “result in significant consumer benefits... Read more...
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