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.
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.
Mandatory viewing of anti-piracy video part of measures
Details on how Verizon will allegedly implement its "six-strikes" anti-piracy policy, set to roll out this year, have surfaced online. Warnings, bandwidth throttling, and obligatory viewings of an anti-piracy video will be applied to connections of alleged infringers, before their IP address will be passed over to the MPAA and RIAA, in order for legal action to take place.
Google M Lab
Google has collaborated with the Open Technology Institute and PlanetLab to develop a project, Measurement Lab (M-Lab), that intends to allow Internet users determine if their service provider is blocking or throttling access to online content. The search giant will establish 36 servers in 12 locations that researchers will be able to use for gathering data for analysis. "When an Internet application doesn't work as expected or your connection seems flaky, how can you tell whether there is a problem caused by your broadband ISP, the application, your PC, or something else?" said Vint Cerf, chief Internet guru at Google.
UK ISPs get ad standard
Ofcom, the UK communication industry's independent regulator, is planning to make a voluntary standard for Internet providers to follow when advertising their maximum connection speeds. More than 90 percent of the country's ISPs agreed to complying with the new code, which would give customers a more accurate comparison of performance between companies when shopping for a new provider.