Items tagged with Net Neutrality

You might think that an agency such as the Federal Communications Commission would exist for no other reason than to protect consumers, but that hasn't proven to be the case at all when it comes to our online rights. You might be tired of hearing about net neutrality - and we couldn't even blame you - but now more than ever, we can't let down our guard. To reiterate what net neutrality is supposed to do: it's to treat our internet access as a Title II utility, classifying it the same way our phones and power are. That is to say that companies can't charge whatever they want for whatever they want... Read more...
Silicon Valley is pushing back against Washington D.C., and for good reason. A lobbying group representing tech titans such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Microsoft recently released a document in favor of net neutrality. The Internet Association (IA) indicated that it supported the 2015 Open Internet Order. The IA’s report stated, “The internet industry is uniform in its belief that net neutrality preserves the consumer experience, competition, and innovation online. Consumers want and need their internet experience preserved and protected, regardless of the legal or regulatory mechanism.”... 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...
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...
One of the most important and hotly debated topics of the Internet era has been net neutrality, the concept that all web traffic should be treated equally. Internet service providers and wireless carriers continue to fight against net neutrality rules and want the right to charge services like Netflix for faster access into homes, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has so far been able to keep them at bay. Perhaps one day the government agency won't have to intervene, as engineers at Stanford University have come up with a solution that would allow users to choose which traffic gets... Read more...
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the rest of the gang were all smiles on Tuesday when a federal appeals court completely upheld the agency's 400-page Open Internet Order, a set of net neutrality rules that wireless carriers and broadband service providers must abide by. The FCC emerged the victor as a result of a 2-1 ruling in its favor. The ruling reinforces the FCC's authority and power to regulate broadband Internet service as a utility, similar to phone service, and to lay out rules to prevent what it deems are unfair practices for consumers. One of the biggest net neutrality rules is that ISPs... Read more...
Since net neutrality rules went into effect last summer, some telecom companies have skirted the line of what's legal, but Verizon becomes the first to outright defy the rules, and now the world wonders whether this will be the straw that breaks the camel's (FCC's) back. When T-Mobile launched its Binge On service this past fall, some net neutrality backers claimed that it went against the spirit of the rules, given that select consumers would be given select content to be "zero-rated" - that is, data not counted towards the monthly limit. Where T-Mobile seems to be safe, though, is that this... Read more...
The Federal Communications Commission is looking into various wireless plans with so called zero-rating services to see if they run afoul of net neutrality legislation, including T-Mobile's popular Binge On program. In case the FCC is need of any advice on the matter, T-Mobile has a message for the agency—"tread lightly.""The commission has to tread lightly," said Kathleen Ham, Vice President of Federal Regulatory Affairs at T-Mobile. "And certainly more lightly than for the wired world in the wireless space — when there is so much experimentation happening, so much differentiation happening. And... Read more...
All the hoopla surrounding T-Mobile's controversial Binge On program has the company's outspoken boss, John Legere, in the limelight more than usual. Drawn to defend the benefits of Binge On, both in social media and to news outlets alike, Legere is prone to lose his cool at times, and he regrets recent comments he made to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit digital rights group. EFF stands as one of the critics of Binge On. Those who oppose to the program primarily take issue with T-Mobile's wholesale downgrading of video streams to 480P or greater, which they say is throttling.... 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...
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...
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...
Well, that didn’t take long. It was only a week ago that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler predicted lawsuits would challenge the FCC’s classification of broadband Internet service as a utility – and fail. Today, the United States Telecom Association set out to prove him wrong. The industry trade group filed a lawsuit that asserts the reclassification violates federal law. “In challenging the legality of the FCC’s Open Internet order, USTelecom believes the FCC used the wrong approach to implementing net neutrality standards, which our industry supports and incorporates into everyday business practices,”... 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...
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