Items tagged with Net Neutrality

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 services at the beginning of 2016. T-Mobile has touted its Binge On service since 2015. Wilkins... 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 preferential treatment, and when. Professor Nick McKeown, Associate Professor Sachin Katti, and electrical... 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 must treat all online traffic equally rather than implement so-called Internet fast lanes for services... 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 service is a major benefit to customers who have the right packages, so for many, having Binge On... 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 a lot of it customers responding to. We do have to be transparent about it. We have to make sure... 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. Legere has repeatedly stated reasons why he believes otherwise, and in part, it's become a war... 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 red flags."It's clear in the Open Internet Order that we said we are pro-competition and pro innovation.... 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 utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, thus giving itself the power it needed to... 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 legislation to regulate broadband may make for "a good sound bite, but is misleading when used to describe... 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,” said USTelecom President Walter McCormic in a statement today. The FCC published its reclassification... 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 the Internet as a utility, will stand up to legal challenges. He's not denying that there will be... Read more...
Leading up to the FCC's approval of net neutrality rules last month, it had been clear that companies opposing the move wouldn't be resting on their laurels for too long afterwards. In particular, AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson said that there 'will be litigation', and as it happens, he meant it. AT&T's Randall Stephenson; Flickr: Dan Farber Yesterday, trade group USTelecom, of which AT&T and Verizon are members, issued a petition to the US Court of Appeals to help thwart net neutrality rules from becoming active (which is set to happen 60 days after the FCC ruling). In the petition, USTelecom stresses that the FCC could have been overstepping its bounds with this move, going... Read more...
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today made available the full text of its Open Internet Order following the reclassification of broadband Internet as a utility in a recent 3-2 vote. It's a long read -- exactly 400 pages from start to finish, and it includes dissenting opinions from Republican commissioners. This is the first time the full text has been available for mass consumption. Commissioners Ajit Pai and Micheal O'Rielly were the two biggest dissenters to the FCC's decision to reclassify the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Their opinions are spelled out in detail in the order, including 64 pages written by Pai and 16 pages by O'Rielly. We're still... Read more...
As someone who once served as the governor of Florida, it stands to reason that presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has seen and heard some downright wild ideas, as most politicians probably have. But the one that's apparently so far out there as to be deemed the "craziest idea" of all is the Federal Communications Commission's decision to regulate broadband Internet as a utility. "The idea of regulating access to the Internet with a 1934 law is one of the craziest ideas I've ever heard," Bush said, according to Time. "Just think of the logic of using a 1934 law that was designed when we did have a monopoly for wire line service as the basis to regulate the most dynamic part... Read more...
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