Confidential programming agreements requested in early October source of the delay
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stopped its "180-day informal time clock" in the review of the merger proposals for Comcast and Time Warner Cable, as well as AT&T and DirectTV. The reason for the stoppage involves the modified joint protective orders that the FCC created at the beginning of October, which content companies are now using to bar outside sources from reading confidential programming agreements.
Approval granted only one day after Google halted pre-orders on Android TV device
Last week Google halted all pre-orders on the Nexus Player after it was discovered that the company didn't have the proper approvals to sell the device. Google jumped the gun on selling the player that is set to ship in November, since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) didn't grant the required approvals for to Asus to begin selling the device. However, the suspension of sales was short lived as the FCC approved the device for sale on Sunday.
Administration has made it clear to FCC that rules don't create tiered Internet
During a question-and-answer session at Cross Campus in Santa Monica last week, US President Barack Obama reaffirmed his stance on net neutrality, which he has held since first running for office. Holding that the concept of an open Internet is important to innovation, the President said that he expects that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will not end up creating a tiered Internet.
Suggested plan classifies broadband as Title II, Section 706 authority expanded
Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) has offered a new take on how to handle net neutrality, based on a 15-page letter he sent to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler. Where Wheeler's plan focuses on regulation through Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act, and other voices want broadband reclassified as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, Waxman suggests the two be bridged for the best approach.
Procedures created to protect public interest, alleviate media firm confidentiality concerns
In the review of the proposed mergers between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, or the proposed AT&T-DirecTV deal, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) believes that reviewing the contracts and agreements made by the merger applicants and media companies is important. Last month, the FCC requested that media firms turn over information about deals with Comcast, something that the provider and media companies fought back on. However, the FCC now has plans in place to address some of their concerns in both mergers.
Clock stopped on FCC time table, grants more time to respond to 850-page response
After receiving a lengthy responses from Comcast and Time Warner Cable and several other factors, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to extend the "Replies to Responses and Oppositions" period for the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. The period, which was originally scheduled to end October 8, is now extended to October 29. As a result, the FCC has paused its 180-day "shot clock" for transaction reviews.
Rumored HTC-produced Nexus 9 may be squarer than earlier devices
Rumors about a HTC-produced Nexus tablet are not continuing to snowball, with two new sources suggesting such a device is on the way. An image on Twitter allegedly shows the back of the fabled tablet, while a separate report stemming from an FCC filing suggests the display could have a slightly different aspect ratio compared to earlier Nexus devices.
FCC listing shows cross-platform Lenovo fitness tracker with seven-day battery
A wearable device from Lenovo has appeared at the FCC, appearing to depict a form of fitness tracker. The Lenovo SW-B100 Smartband, pictured extensively in the filing, shows a watch strap with a narrow and flat area in the middle, with a basic LED or LCD display likely to be visible on the outside of the device when worn, while a sensor which could be a heart rate monitor is spied on the inside.
Hotel blocked personal hotspots to force use of own Wi-Fi service
Marriott International has agreed to settle with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the blocking of Wi-Fi networks, by paying a $600,000 fine. The hotel chain was found to be actively blocking its customers from being able to access Wi-Fi networks from within a Nashville resort, except for the one the hotel provides.
Dueling regulatory boards fight over future of ISP regulation
Allegedly concerned about protecting the American consumer, US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) head Maureen Ohlhausen has come out as strongly against Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler's net neutrality provision -- specifically, the possibility of Title II regulation of ISPs. The comment against the possibility of regulating Internet providers as a utility is the FTC's second in September.
Improvement in customer service, expansion of low-cost broadband demanded
Several states are having regulatory discussions in governmental circles about the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger. Two New York state agencies, the Division of Consumer Protection Utility Intervention Unit (UIU) and the Department of Public Service, are taking serious issue with the merger and are demanding concessions. As a result, the UIU's vote on its discussion has been postponed from October 2 until November 13, over "deficiencies associated with the Companies' current substandard customer service" and other issues that is sees as being generated or exacerbated by a combined company.
Provider calls Dish Network, Discovery Communications, and Netflix out in FCC response
Comcast believes that a number of companies are trying to bully the cable and Internet provider in order to get favorable terms -- in exchange for their non-opposition of the merger with Time Warner Cable. In a response to the comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the proposed merger, Comcast claims that companies are engaging in a sort of blackmail to further their own business interests at the cost of the deal.
Competition by municipal broadband, Google, and wireless declared sufficient
In a filing with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Comcast has spelled out why it believes it should be allowed to purchase Time Warner Cable. Saying that users have enough high-speed cable options including wireless and satellite, and that switching to one of the "broad range" of competitors it has such as Google Fiber, the giant believes it should be able to complete the merger without citizens or the government being concerned about a monopolistic situation.
Titan Aerospace equipment being used for flight testing
Google has filed a plan to test broadcast drones in the skies of New Mexico. A filing with the US Federal Communications Commission, one of the regulatory agencies that needs to be involved with such an endeavor, points to a test site south of Santa Fe, New Mexico and south of Las Vegas, Nevada. The tests are likely a practical test of remote Internet delivery technologies, and some of the largest drills that Google has run yet, utilizing Titan Aerospace's technology.
Exec proposes bonuses for users, websites assisting with 'congestion'
BitTorrent's Chief Executive Officer Eric Klinker has made his response to the US Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality proposal, using the "fast lane" provisions, known. Klinker believes that a model similar to that of the electric distribution in the US can be used, where users and websites get lower rates for use in times of lower demand rather than the potential conflict of interest, and double-payment, that ISPs would get for having sponsored faster access under FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal.
Zigbee in updated TiVo Mini could be used to connect to nearby smart appliances
Just one day after TiVo launched its high-capacity device, details of an update to the other end of the DVR range have leaked. According to a filing at the FCC, the company is preparing to launch a revision of the TiVo Mini, launched last year, and though it may include some form of wireless connectivity, it is possible it won't use a standard Wi-Fi connection.
Minority leader concerned with both FCC behavior, ISP policies
House Minority Leader (D-CA) Nancy Pelosi has called for broadband to be reclassified as a public utility under Title II legislation. Instead of railing against the Internet Service Providers themselves, Pelosi wants the reclassification, as she is concerned that upcoming Federal Communication Commission (FCC) rulings will result in discrimination against consumers and innovators relying on an unfettered Internet to survive.
Company failed to inform users of opt-out option for six years
Verizon has agreed to a $7.4 million dollar fine, payable to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a result of not informing customers that they could "opt out" of Verizon marketing efforts tailored with gleaned user information. The fine, the largest of its kind, is assessed in parallel with the requirement that the company tell customers in every mailed bill that they can prevent the company from using data for advertising and marketing purposes.
256 page FCC filing lays out case for rejection of merger
Video streamer Netflix has formally objected to the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger, with a complaint filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this week. The streamer believes that the merger hampers consumer access to data, and "would set up an ecosystem that calls into question what we have to date taken for granted: that a consumer who pays for connectivity to the Internet will be able to get the content she requests."
Charter swept up in FCC info dragnet, September 11 deadline for submissions
A request for information from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been submitted to Comcast and Time Warner Cable, demanding the pair detail its Internet and programming agreements before the merger is approved. Information sought includes broadcast deals with sports leagues, Internet network management such as that with Netflix traffic, consumer data caps, and other information deemed vital which may impact relations with customers should the deal be approved.
Deal marks fourth major deal with Internet service providers
Netflix has signed a new peering deal, this time with Time Warner Cable. The deal now gives the video streamer interconnection deals with Internet service providers that cover about 68 percent of all the broadband customers in the US. Notably, the 32 percent it doesn't have deals with are smaller providers - largely carriers that have pro-net neutrality views, and haven't been found to limit or slow down Netflix traffic for users.
Organization believes that auction violates Spectrum Act, abuses discretion under APA Act
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has filed a petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, seeking a review of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 2015 spectrum auction. In the filing, the NAB states that the FCC isn't taking the proper precautions to protect broadcasters that choose to retain their spectrum. According to the NAB, an updated methodology the FCC is using will result in a loss of coverage area for remaining broadcasters.
Staff deluged by comments for and against the controversial plan
Under an onslaught of remarks, both slamming and supporting Federal Communication Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler's Net Neutrality proposal, the agency has extended the second public comment phase five days, now ending September 15. The alteration was made "to ensure that members of the public have as much time as was initially anticipated to reply to initial comments in these proceedings," according to the agency.
Companies withdraw contributions after watch dog group call the donations suspect
Comcast and Time Warner Cable have withdrawn contributions to the Kaitz Dinner, a yearly event that celebrates diversity in the cable industry. News of the funding removal came after the Citizens of Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) objected to the contributions, as Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Mignon Clyburn was being honored with an award at the event.
Enquiry expands as throttling 'expands to a business issue' rather than technical hurdle
The FCC has decided to expand its investigation into Verizon's recently-announced changes in "unlimited" data for subscribers into a full review of the entire US cellular industries network management policies, with a particular focus on "throttling" policies and how they are implemented, particularly for customers still on an "unlimited" data plan. The agency is even questioning carriers about why it would need throttling policies on more-efficient LTE networks at all.
No comment given regarding possible Title II regulation of ISPs
President Obama, fielding a question at a press event, has decried part of US Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler's "net neutrality" proposal. Speaking before the US Africa Leaders Summit, the president claims that "you don't want to start getting a differentiation in how accessible the Internet is to different users" and that the proposal needs to "leave it open so the next Google and the next Facebook can succeed."
Company claims all the other wireless carriers do so, so it should as well
Verizon is the first mobile provider that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has queried about Internet speed slowdown for certain customers on an "unlimited" data plan. In a response filed with the FCC yesterday, the wireless company explained its rationale for reneging on its "unlimited" promise, and noted that a user needs to consume 4.7GB of mobile data per month to be put in the class of users that it would throttle, for what it claims is a need to protect the experience of the rest of its customers on the network.
Ban focuses on disruptive nature of phone calls rather than technical issues
Not a year after some usage limitations on airplanes were lifted for smartphones and tablets comes news that the United States government is looking to issue a permanent ban on in-flight voice calls. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is reportedly developing a "notice of proposed rulemaking," according to the Wall Street Journal, that could bring an end to cellphone calls onboard planes before they start.
Agency asks for interconnection agreements for understanding, regulation depends on discovery
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking into six additional Internet service providers (ISP) and content providers over interconnecting and peering agreements, according to reports. An official spoke to Ars Technica after it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking information on the Netflix peering deals with Verizon and Comcast. The news comes after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced in June that the agency would be investigating such agreements.
Letter from Chairman Wheeler asks Verizon to justify its network management
Last week, one of the largest mobile carriers in the United States announced it would begin throttling some unlimited accounts that access 4G LTE. Verizon stated that it would begin the effort in October, but it would be limited to only the top five percent of data users on unlimited plans. While the slowdown won't have an effect on all LTE customers, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler believes that the new policy is running afoul of several regulations.
Comments opened after organizations in Tennessee, North Carolina petitioned agency
After receiving petitions from the Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga, Tennessee and the City of Wilson in North Carolina, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is opening comments on the subject of preempting state laws. Based on Chairman Tom Wheeler's previous comments on municipal broadband, the FCC would get involved in the battle if it meant better serving consumers.
FTC net neutrality letter addresses concerns about Internet 'hyper-giants'
In a letter filed with the US Federal Communications Commission regarding the pending net neutrality proposal, pro-cable company advocacy group The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) believes that if the "fast lane" net neutrality proposal stands as is, then "hyper-giants" like Amazon, eBay, Netflix, Facebook, and Google could charge the cable companies to allow customers to access services, essentially holding Internet Service Providers hostage. The cable companies allege to have no defense against such tactics, and claim to lack a "practical ability" or the incentive to throttle said large Internet companies.
EPB asks agency to step in, overturn state law to allow service outside existing area
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could soon have a chance to act on Chairman Tom Wheeler's promise to overturn state laws when it comes to municipal broadband networks. Today, the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga (EPB) filed a petition with the agency asking that they step over state law to allow them to expand access.
Notice on Open Internet Transparency Rule tells ISPs to give accurate service information
In a public notice to Internet service providers, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reminded business that they cannot lie to consumers about the services they offer. The notice informs business and the general public that "every provider of broadband Internet access in the United States" is subject to the Open Internet Transparency Rule.
Bill aims to remove FCC regulatory power, seeks to protect 'state rights'
A bill sponsored by US Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has been passed, which aims to strip the Federal Communications Commission's ability to interfere with laws passed to limit municipal broadband networks. Passing 228-195, generally along party lines, the bill, if signed into law, would reinforce strictures that make it difficult in 20 states to offer municipal broadband services in opposition to services provided by for-profit giants like Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable.
FCC approves rules to cover clips under Communications of Video Accessibility Act
Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to extend the provisions of 2012 closed captioning rules to further cover Internet video clips from television shows. The new rules expand provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 in the process. As a method of ensuring equal access to all programming forms to parties that suffer from hearing impairment, the FCC opted to require all Internet TV show clips to have captions in place, starting in January 2016.
New deadline gives public 72 more hours to comment on proposed changes
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended the first deadline for public comment on the controversial "fast lane" net neutrality proposal. The extension, following a major crash of the nearly two-decade old comment system, extends through midnight on June 18. A second "reply comment" period will start after this period ends, however.
Third-party companies previously made iBeacon devices, intent of device is unknown
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released documents on July 4 outlining a new device from Apple which point to a company-made iBeacon. The device was first spotted by router maker Securifi, which lists the new device seeking approval wireless certification from the FCC for the "Apple iBeacon." Previously, iBeacon hardware was only made by third-party manufacturers.
Chairman takes to Twitter to 'keep your input coming, 'announce comment figures
Those looking to speak up about the potential changes to net neutrality still have some time to speak up before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) closes the commenting period on July 15. Those adding their voices on the direction of the Internet won't be alone, as FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler recently said on Twitter that 647,000 comments were received so far.
Extra $2B Wi-Fi fund offered on top of existing E-Rate program
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a $2 billion fund to help provide Wi-Fi equipment to schools to create wireless networks. The fund, on top of the existing E-Rate program within the Universal Service Fund (USF), came under criticism from teachers unions, schools, and other groups before being approved today by a vote of 3-2.
Resulting company could have means to leverage control over the broadband pipe
In a memo from Dish Network's Senior Vice President and Deputy General Council Jeffrey Blum to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a series of meetings on July 7 indicate that the company has raised issues with the prospective merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Believing that the combined business could utilize "choke points," it could leverage control over broadband to do harm.
Deal covers consumer speeds, not peering deals between companies
Some Democratic senators are looking at a ban on the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) proposal to allow Internet "fast lanes." Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) have proposed a bill that codifies the FCC's existing authority to ensure that Internet Service Providers don't allow some content providers faster access at the expense of other services.
Peering deals seem to have little lasting effect on Netflix user speeds
After a bevy of consumer complaints were filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against Verizon and Comcast regarding Netflix "throttling," the regulatory agency has begun looking into the problem. The FCC demanded, and has received, the terms of peering deals that Netflix made with both Internet giants, and will examine the issue to see if there is anything that can be done on behalf of consumers.
Remarks repeat what Wheeler has said in the past about local broadband
US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler, after speaking with Chattanooga Tennessee mayor Andy Berke, took a hard stance against states' legislation and business deals with cable companies, which often prevent the buildout of municipal broadband. In a statement after the meeting, the chairman said in a blog post that he believes "that it is in the best interests of consumers and competition that the FCC exercises its power to preempt state laws that ban or restrict competition from community broadband. Given the opportunity, we will do so."
Slingbox M1 could be first new Sling Media release in two years
Sling Media may be preparing to launch its first media streamer for two years, since the introduction of the Slingbox 350 and 500 models in late-2012, if an FCC filing is to be believed. The Slingbox M1 is shown in a photograph to be a compact and nondescript black box, which could allow for the same streaming of TV content over the Internet as earlier models but at a lower price.
One group hired known false grassroots campaign generator to sink measure
Two groups have written letters to the US Federal Communications Commission, opposing the FCC's new net neutrality proposal -- the American Consumer Institute (ACI), and Broadband for America. Both groups claim to be pro-consumer, and purportedly advocate for more choice and lower costs for subscribers. However, both groups are in fact heavily funded by the telecom industry, and are likely "astroturfing" for the cable industries in their fight against FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's threat of Title II regulation by the FCC, embedded in the net neutrality discussion.
John Oliver rallies fans against Internet rules, FCC commenting undergoes load issues
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) experienced a heavy server load on Monday, possibly related to comments made by John Oliver during Sunday's episode of the HBO comedy Last Week Tonight. The comedian gave a report on net neutrality which called for commenters and Internet users to comment at the FCC's website. Oliver used what he considered to be less "boring" language to inspire people to speak up to the FCC about the open Internet.
Change in target speeds will affect federal money allocations for expansions
The US Federal Communications Commission is considering revising what it officially calls "Broadband Access." A proposal floated before the FCC will soon solicit comments on the definition of broadband, and is asking the public of 10Mbps or 25Mbps download and 2.9Mbps upload should be considered broadband.
Proposed legislation would prohibit 'regulatory baggage' of Title II
Yesterday, Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) introduced legislation to limit the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) authority to regulate broadband under Title II of the Communications Act. The proposed legislation comes after the FCC released a proposal to reclassify broadband Internet access under Title II as a telecommunications service rather than an information service if Internet Service Providers abuse permissions that the FCC may give to providers.
Carriers appealed plan over moving telephone subsidies to internet, subsidy concerns
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) saw its 2011 proposal to expand broadband to rural areas upheld after a judge rejected arguments from carriers over the loss of telephone subsidy funds. The Connect America Fund, a $4.5 million initiative aimed at spreading faster Internet access to seven million people who live in rural areas, was under review by the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver after numerous telecommunication companies challenged the plan.