Items tagged with FCC

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...
What kind of information do ISP’s collect from their customers and what do they do with that information? The Federal Communications Commission just passed a new rule to protect online user’s privacy and regulate how and when ISPs can share information with third parties. The FCC rule was passed this morning with a 3-2 vote. It requires ISPs, or internet providers, to obtain a customer’s explicit consent before sharing certain information with third parties. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler remarked, “It's the consumers' information. How it is used should be the consumers' choice. Not the choice of some... Read more...
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has its hands in various aspects of the internet. Some of its consumer-centric actions have sprouted strong roots, while others have been pared back or shutdown altogether. Led by Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC is back at it again, this time in an effort to fight for the privacy of U.S. internet users. Wheeler is calling for internet service providers (ISPs) to obtain express consent from its customers before they siphon web browsing data and other private information to share with advertisers (or other potentially lucrative deals with third-parties).... Read more...
Your mom may think that you spend too much time on the Internet, but Netflix most certainly does not. Netflix has asked the FCC to prohibit data caps, because it claims that caps are unreasonable and noncompetitive. Netflix insists that caps “may impede the ability of some households to watch Internet television in a manner and amount that they would like.” Netflix submitted a filing last week for the FCC’s annual investigation of broadband deployment. This review is required by Congress in Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act and requires the FCC to determine whether all Americans are receiving... Read more...
After taking on Internet service providers (ISPs) and wireless carriers with a set of net neutrality rules, it looked as though FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was on the verge of going to war with cable companies next. That was the plan when, earlier this year, Wheeler talked about forcing cable companies to use open standards so that consumers could choose their own set-top box rather than paying rental or leasing fees for sub-par models provided by their service provider. Now the FCC is ditching that plan in favor of apps. What's that, apps you say? Yes indeed—rather than continue to push for the adoption... Read more...
In the twenty-first century, many regard Internet as a service that everyone should be able to affordably access. AT&T, however, has used a loophole in its merger with DirecTV to avoid providing inexpensive internet to low-income families. What did the merger specify? The FCC demanded that AT&T offer its services for $10 a month in areas where download speeds of 10 Mbps and 5 Mbps are available. AT&T must also provide services for $5 in places where download speeds of 3 Mbps are available. The FCC did not state what the company should do if downloads speeds are less than 3 Mbps. Consequently,... Read more...
You know what everyone hates? Robocalls. AT&T, Apple, Google, Verizon, and Comcast are joining together to create the “Robocall Strike Force” which will work with the FCC to eliminate the annoyance. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson will lead the effort. A robocall is a phone call with a prerecorded message, and are often used to defraud people. Time Warner Cable was actually forced to pay $230,000 USD in July 2015 for robocalling one woman 153 times. One of the worst cases of fraud is when people fall for a robocall claiming it is from the IRS. This practice is so prevalent that the IRS has... Read more...
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