Lets users check connection speed, aggregate national averages
The US Federal Communications Commission has refreshed a broadband speed-checking tool for iOS that was originally created in 2010, and updated it for iOS 7 and other modern technologies. The free FCC Speed Test is part of the Measuring Broadband America initiative, and is part of an FCC initiative to get a better "performance map" of US broadband. Users can view historical test data and current performance using the program.
Will not appeal ruling voiding key net neutrality rules
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will not appeal a court ruling that declared key parts of its net neutrality rules invalid. As part of its attempt to rectify the situation left by the Verizon court case, the FCC is working on rewriting the rules, so that they can "meet the court's test for preventing improper blocking of and discrimination among Internet traffic."
Court challenge cleared way for ISPs to charge for faster access
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has confirmed that the agency is working on a new plan to restore net neutrality provisions overturned by a court case brought by Verizon, reports CNet. In addition, a number of US senators have written to Wheeler directly, asking the FCC to "move quickly" to restore neutrality rules.
Obama initiative valued at about $750 million
US President Barack Obama is today announcing commitments from several US corporations towards connecting more students to high-speed Internet, says the Associated Press. In all, about $750 million has been pledged; Apple is offering $100 million in iPads, computers, and other tools, while Verizon is providing the same amount in straight cash and in-kind contributions. AT&T and Sprint are offering free Internet access; Microsoft is promising copies of Windows at discounted rates, and 12 million free copies of Microsoft Office.
Call for experiments could help telecommunication providers get rid of copper-based landlines
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken its first steps in overhauling the analog telephone system in the United States, by authorizing voluntary testing by carriers. The unanimous vote will allow telecommunication providers, such as AT&T, to experiment with landlines in various ways, such as providing an IP-based telephone service to its customers.
Four firms singled out for supporting educational high-speed Internet deployment
[Updated with Apple statement] As part of his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama thanked four tech firms -- including Apple, Microsoft, Verizon and Sprint -- for their involvement and support of his and the FCC's ConnectED high-tech initiative, which aims to level the playing field for poorer districts by providing high-speed Internet access to all of America's schools and students. Obama described the participation as a "down payment" on connecting schools and students over the next three years.
KLCS, KJLA sharing bandwidth, allows surplus to be sold at auction for 4G
CTIA The Wireless Association and Los Angeles television stations KLCS and KJLA announced today a channel-sharing pilot project that responds to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) recent request to "demonstrate the technical and legal arrangements necessary to implement a successful channel-sharing operation." The goal of the pilot program is to show that channel sharing would allow over-the-air broadcasters to continue providing content without impacting their viewers -- while reducing infrastructure costs.
Auction of 10MHz airwaves expected to fetch at least $1.6B
The Federal Communications Commission has started its first major wireless spectrum auction in six years, with more auctions set to occur over the next 24 months. The Wall Street Journal reports today's auction will be for H-block spectrum, a block of 10MHz paired airwaves which is expected to be sold for at least $1.6 billion, with Dish Network likely to be the biggest winner.
Commission cites foreign-ownership rules
The Federal Communications Commission has reportedly sided with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), stalling Pandora's application to acquire a terrestrial radio station based in Rapid City, South Dakota. The commission is said to have notified the streaming music company of the decision, which cites foreign-ownership rules as a remaining hurdle, according to a Billboard report.
FCC traffic management rules voided, transparency sections remain
A number of rules set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for "net neutrality" have been ruled invalid by an appeals court in Washington. The ruling, a 2-1 decision in a suit between the FCC and Verizon, effectively prevents the FCC from requiring all Internet service providers (ISPs) treat traffic equally, and could lead to providers requesting payments from content providers in order to give better service to subscribers.
Plan for data allowances paid for by content providers to face scrutiny
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may look into how AT&T conducts the "Sponsored Data" program it introduced earlier this week. The FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, reportedly expressed concerns that the plan to allow content providers to pay for data used by customers over the carrier's cellular network could be anticompetitive.
BlackBerry Z30 spotted at FCC using AT&T frequencies
BlackBerry could be bringing the Z30 smartphone to AT&T in the future, according to an FCC filing. The listing spotted by Berry Review appears to show the device, with a 5-inch 1280x720 Super AMOLED display, dual-core 1.7GHz processor, and 2GB of RAM, as sporting radios on AT&T bands, strongly suggesting that the more-powerful flagship device could launch in the US as an alternative to Verizon.
International version of Xperia Z1f to have Android 4.3 onboard
The rumored Sony Xperia Z1 Mini has reportedly reached the FCC for testing, as the company prepares it for launch in the US and Europe. The filing for the smaller version of the Xperia Z1, previously called the Xperia Z1S, offers little in the way of new information for the device, except that it has the model number D5503 and given the codename "Amami."
New mobile phone unlocking rules expected soon
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is close to completing a list of rules for cellphone unlocking with US carriers, according to a report. The new rules would govern how a carrier advises a consumer about unlocking and the timing of the unlocking process itself, with the deal between the mobile phone networks and FCC expected to be agreed upon in the near future.
FCC chair claims need to prevent Obamacare website-like debacle in auction
Citing a need for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to "get the enabling technology right," new chairman Tom Wheeler has delayed a spectrum auction. The auction pays television broadcasters for unused spectrum left unused after the shift to digital television. The FCC will then auction off the reclaimed spectrum to wireless carriers to expand wireless networks.
Asus tablet variants in filing will run Windows, Android, or both
A tablet from Asus capable of running two operating systems has appeared in an FCC filing. The tablet, going under the model names M82T, L82T, and R82T, is able to run on both Android KitKat and Windows 8, though a further six variants are listed as Windows-specific and Android-specific models, suggesting there will be a total of nine available using the same base hardware.
Proposal comes after FAA, EASA allows device use in flights
Passengers on flights in the United States may be allowed to use the cellular connection on their smartphones and tablets while traveling in the future. New proposals from the FCC come weeks after the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) allowed device use at all stages of flight, and after the European Commission (EC) permitted 3G and 4G LTE connections during transit.
DVX shares physical styling to Moto X, loses LTE, NFC
Motorola could be working on a low-cost version of its Moto X flagship smartphone, according to filings at the FCC. Images in the filing, submitted to show how the smartphone is set-up for testing, gives an almost complete front and back shot of what is believed to be the Motorola DVX, with only a few minor stickers placed on the rear.
BlackBerry smartphones in website sales supplied unlocked
BlackBerry is attempting to improve the sales of some of its smartphones by making them available directly. The manufacturer is selling the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 through its website, with the incoming BlackBerry Z30 also being seen at the FCC ahead of its expected release on networks in Canada in the near future.
Document uses tablet description in last page of testing report
The long-rumored tablet from Nokia has been spotted again, this time going through FCC certification. A filing at the commission for the Nokia RX-114 shows that the company is still working on a tablet, complete with LTE support for Verizon. T-Mobile, and AT&T, as well as GSM/Edge and HSPA+ support, and suggests that a launch could be around the corner.
Screen of HTC One Max shown to be larger than Note 3
Another set of photographs of the HTC One Max has surfaced, making its possible release appear to be even more likely. The new images, comparing it with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, come at the same time as the HTC Desire 601 makes its way through the FCC, suggesting a release of the mid-range smartphone could be happening soon.
Proposal designed to protect consumers
The US Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration has formally petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to implement rules forcing carriers to unlock cellphones and other mobile devices. The proposal argues that subscribers should be able to simply ask for a device to be unlocked for use on another compatible network.
Special edition aimed at cooks
Sony has introduced a special "Kitchen Edition" of its 10.1-inch Xperia Z tablet. The new offering, which was spotted by Engadget, ships with an iGrill wireless meat thermometer, pre-loaded food apps and videos, and a foldable stand. The company boasts that its waterproof tablet can be rinsed off under fresh water or even submerged for a half hour.
Explains improved performance in official Apple specs
Both the iPhone 5s and the 5c use slightly better batteries, helping to explain some of the improved power performance claimed by Apple, FCC documents show. The 5c's battery has roughly 5 percent more capacity than the iPhone 5, up to 5.73Whr and 1507mAh. The 5s has 10 percent more, sitting at 5.96Whr and 1570mAh.
Oral arguments to be heard in appeals court
Verizon and the Federal Communications Commission are set to present oral arguments in an ongoing legal dispute that is being heard at the US Court of Appeals in Washington DC. The company has argued that the FCC is overstepping its authority by imposing broad "net neutrality" regulations, which are claimed to violate constitutional rights regarding property and free speech. Both sides are now tasked with defending their position in front of a three-judge panel.
Accompanying manual suggests premium version with camera, stylus
Following an appearance at the Taiwan National Communications Commission in late August, the Nvidia Tegra Tab has made its way through FCC testing. The seven-inch P1460 tablet, appearing in identical images to the NCC filing, is accompanied by a manual that shows it as having a relatively-untouched stock installation of Android Jelly Bean.
Google defends Fiber server complaint with 'industry standard' response
Google has seemingly changed its mind over net neutrality, based on a response to a complaint made to the FCC. The search giant believes that it can ban servers from its Google Fiber service as it is something practiced by other Internet Service Providers, and does not go against the net neutrality rules that it has championed in the past.
ASCAP claims Pandora meets none of the wickets for proper broadcast
The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) has filed a formal protest with the US Federal Communications Commission, opposing streaming radio purveyor Pandora's attempted purchase of a radio station in Rapid City, South Dakota. ASCAP is opposing the deal on procedural grounds, saying that Pandora failed to properly reveal its international interests involved in the company, and in not doing so, isn't properly proving that it does not exceed foreign ownership rules set by the FCC.
Confidentiality letter hides FCC photos until September 30th or earlier launch
Sony's rumored Honami smartphone has made an appearance at the FCC, according to a recent filing. The appearance at the Commission suggests that Sony could be launching the codenamed Xperia i1 the United States and further afield in the near future, with the device having been in testers hands since the 17th of June.
Finished devices could be coming off assembly line
A new photo shows what appears to be the back of a completed low-cost iPhone, sometimes known as the iPhone Lite, reports say. Unlike past leaks, the camera, headphone, and Lightning ports appear to be filled, and the back has various certification markings, including one from the FCC. The device hasn't been spotted in FCC filings, but like some other companies Apple typically requests that approvals be kept quiet until a product has been formally announced.
Move expected to cost DoD $3.5 billion, somewhat offset by sale
As part of the FCC's initiative to reclaim unused and poorly-utilized bandwidth, the US Department of Defense is proposing that it compress some of its use of allocated bandwidth, freeing up some for auction. The military is looking at moving all traffic into the 1780-1850MHz region of the spectrum, making available the 1755 to 1780MHz and 2025-2110MHz bands for sale.
Manufacturing labels for Japan, China suggest high production levels
The Sony PlayStation 4 has been spotted heading through the FCC for approval. The upcoming game console, due to ship before the end of this year, is shown in the filing to have both China and Japan listed as the country of manufacture, suggesting that Sony is attempting to make sure there are as few console supply issues as possible at launch.
Little additional regulatory approval remaining to complete the deal
As expected, the FCC has officially given the green light to the Softbank purchase of Sprint and the corresponding Sprint purchase of ClearWire. The statement from acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said that the deal serves the public interest and will "accelerate the deployment of mobile broadband services and enhance competition."
Last major hurdle in Sprint acquisition allegedly cleared, soon to be finalized
The Federal Communications Commission will allow for the acquisition of Sprint by Softbank, according to a report. Members of the Commission have apparently voted on the purchase with two out of three commissioners voting for the deal, and all but effectively completes the $21.6 billion deal between the two carriers.
Freed spectrum lies close to Sprint PCS-occupied frequencies
Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a "Report and Order" that will increase the nation's supply of radio spectrum for flexible use services, including mobile broadband, by opening 10 megahertz of spectrum in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz (H Block) bands for commercial licensing.
Headphone socket to allow private audio streaming on Roku stick
Roku will be adding an audio output to the remote control for its Streaming Stick, according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission. The filing reveals two version of the remote control, showing a version with the headphone socket built into the side of the device, as well as a more conventional model with the new addition removed from view.
Support for AT&T LTE bands found in large Samsung smartphone
The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 could be heading to AT&T, according to details found in an FCC filing. The smartphone with the 6.3-inch display made its send trip to the Commission for clearance, and while in the first instance it was shown to have AT&T-supported HSPA+, this time it is equipped with AT&T 4G LTE bands.
Subscribers can opt to receive AMBER and emergency push notices
An FCC mandate for a Wireless Emergency Alert system implemented on mobile devices is now being delivered to iPhones by AT&T, the country's second-largest carrier. The government-issued messages will appear in a manner similar to text messages, reports AppleInsider, but are actually delivered by a different and faster system (at no charge to the user). They will include mandatory Presidential alerts (issued by the White House), and the option to receive Imminent Threat alerts and AMBER alerts.
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, 32GB storage also detailed
An Asus tablet that could be the successor to the Nexus 7 has appeared at the FCC, matching previous rumors. A device by the name of "ASUS Pad" with the model number K009 appeared in a filing, and according to details listed in the Commission's paperwork, would include LTE connectivity as well as a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera.
Windows Phone, Android smartphones could be priced under $100 on-contract
Two more phones destined for Sprint have been revealed in separate FTC filings. The HTC Tiara with Windows Phone 8 and the ZTE Vital appear in filings with LTE connectivity for Sprint's network, suggesting that the two devices will receive some form of official announcement from the carrier in the coming months.
Filing suggests possible host of cheaper BlackBerry phone in US
The BlackBerry Q5, the cheaper alternative to the BlackBerry Q10 that is destined for emerging markets, could be heading to the United States soon, according to an FCC filing. A device matching the appearance of the BB10 OS smartphone has been spotted in the listing, suggesting it may make an appearance in the US after all.
Second Samsung Galaxy phone to pass through FCC in two days
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active has passed through the FCC for certification, just one day after the Galaxy Note 8.0 did the same thing. The federal filing reveals that the ruggedized version of the Samsung flagship smartphone will have LTE connectivity, just like the original, with AT&T likely to be one of the carriers to launch the device.
Gaming tablet shown without detachable controller, display removed
The Wikipad has reached the FCC for testing, with the federal filing showing off the tablet without its detachable controller. The retooled gaming tablet, complete with the smaller 7-inch display instead of the 10.1-inch version it was originally shown to have, is pictured by the Commission with and without its back cover, along with profile shots of its internal circuitry.
Model number of media streamer reference to Douglas Adams book
A filing at the FCC suggests that Google is not letting go from its television plans, with the appearance of a new device. The item, described in the filing as a "media player," has been submitted for various tests, though there is little in the way of details for the device to be found inside the multiple PDF documents on the FCC website.
Telecom enthusiastic about new chair, Wheeler's stances on industry unclear
As rumored yesterday, President Obama has nominated former wireless lobbyist Tom Wheeler to replace outgoing FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. An acting chair has also been named to serve until the Congressional approval process is complete -- Mignon Clyburn, four-year veteran of the agency will stand as head of the agency in the interim.
Bill introduces reforms to program to cut on waste and abuse
A new act was introduced to the House of Representatives yesterday seeks to update the "Lifeline" FCC program. The intent of the legislation is to expand the Lifeline program, and offer recipients the option of discounted telephone, mobile, and now, internet broadband access. The FCC chairman-supported bill was introduced on April 24 by representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), and Anne Eshoo (D-CA).
FCC filing surfaces before Canada, UK Q10 launch
The BlackBerry Q10 has passed through FCC-mandated testing, ahead of a yet-to-be announced United States launch. The filings, made available earlier today, suggests that the first device with a keyboard running on BlackBerry 10 OS will be appearing on US carriers in the near future, alongside the touchscreen-based Z10 flagship.
Prohibitions against phones likely to stay in place
The US Federal Aviation Administration is hoping to announce looser restrictions on in-flight use of portable electronics by the end of 2013, according to sources for the New York Times. The people belong to an industry working group set up by the FAA, and add that the latter is specifically considering allowing reading devices during takeoff and landing, including tablets and e-readers. Devices may still have to be set to Airplane mode, though, and cellphones are expected to remain off-limits.
Step down for Commission head due in coming weeks
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, has announced he is stepping down from the position. Head of the FCC after being nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2009, Genachowski will depart from the role in the next few weeks.
Senator proposing a bill to scrap current FAA rules
In a frustrated letter to FAA director Michael Huerta on Thursday, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) expressed concern with Huerta's "lack of direct engagement" on the subject of in-flight use of personal electronic devices. The senator is proposing a bill to greatly increase the usage window of cellphones, tablets, music players, and other electronic devices before, during, and after the flight, including during takeoff and landing.