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FCC makes up its mind about net neutrality: Er, we'll decide in 2015

US watchdog the FCC has decided to ponder a little more on the fate of net neutrality – and delayed a crucial vote on the issue until next year. The regulator is in the middle of rewriting its rules to guarantee an "open internet" for all, after Verizon decided it didn't like the original rules and sued the agency. And won. FCC …
Iain Thomson, 12 Nov 2014

FCC: You'll have to wait EVEN LONGER for faster wireless broadband

The FCC confirmed today that it will delay its planned wireless broadband spectrum auction until at least 2016. The US regulator blamed a court case for holding up efforts to sell TV frequencies to cell networks, which will then use the airwaves for faster and broader mobile data services. The commission hoped to auction off …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Oct 2014

FCC: You, AT&T. Get over here and explain this 'no more gigabit fiber' threat

The US Federal Communications Commission is calling out AT&T for throwing a hissy-fit over net neutrality and halting its gigabit-a-second fiber rollout. The watchdog said in a letter to AT&T execs that it wants the telco giant to explain why it thinks it will lose money if it expands its fiber broadband network. AT&T said …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Nov 2014
Gun and dollars

FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to spend $1.5bn on hooking up high-speed broadband to more American schools and libraries. The money will come from you, dear US readers: the FCC will put up phone bills by about $2 a year per line to foot the damage, it's understood. Specifically, the monthly E-Rate charge …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Nov 2014

FCC flashes cash at broadcasters ahead of wireless auction

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is pitching broadcasters to join in on its upcoming wireless spectrum auction with the promise of huge payouts from mobile giants if the TV industry give portions of its broadcast space. In a presentation (PDF) to broadcasters, the FCC said that local TV stations will be able to …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Oct 2014

You folks probably don't have much to say on the Comcast-TWC merger ... FCC extends deadline for comments anyway

The FCC has extended the deadline for people wishing to send in comments on the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The commission said on Friday that it would give the public until 29 October to file their opinions on the proposed $42.5bn deal between two of the largest cable providers in the country. The …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Oct 2014
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is firing up an investigation into millimetre-wave frequency spectrum allocations, and Google has filed an application to fool around with the same band. The FCC “notice of inquiry” is intended to work out what the US's regulatory response will be to the use of frequencies beyond 24 …
FCC logo

FCC not quite sold on Comcast TWC gobble

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is requesting more information from cable giant Comcast on its planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC). The Commission sent a letter (PDF) to Comcast's regulatory and legislative office asking the company to provide details on just how its subscriber networks align with those …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Aug 2014

FCC looks to boost next-gen wireless networks with 24GHz study

The FCC is opening up a probe into a possible new class of wireless broadband services which could improve mobile network performance and reliability in the US. The watchdog said that it would be examining the possibility of opening up very high frequency 24GHz spectrum space for use by future mobile broadband networks, possibly …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Oct 2014

Verizon: We're throttling broadband. FCC: WTF? Verizon: Lol, jk!

Verizon is going back on its vow to throttle broadband for some of those on unlimited data plans. The telco said it will not punish heavy users of its network by crippling their LTE speeds. Verizon said in July that it will implement the policy, which would have cut throughput rates for the top five per cent of LTE users, in …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Oct 2014

Net neut supporters CRASH FCC WEBSITE with message deluge

A protest campaign in support of net neutrality provisions has overwhelmed the the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website. The commission briefly saw its public comments service go down on Monday, one day after comedian John Oliver delivered an extended rant in support of net neutrality on his evening program Last Week …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Jun 2014

FCC to Obama on net neutrality: We work for CONGRESS, SIR, not YOU

US watchdog the FCC has politely told President Obama to get stuffed, gently pointing out that the agency reports to Congress – not the White House. President Obama excited his supporters yesterday, following a drubbing in the mid-term elections, by going nuclear on internet regulation. The White House said it backed the …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Nov 2014
Netflix

Hey FCC, Comcast-TWC merger is bad news for Netflix, says Netflix

Netflix has formally petitioned the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to block the proposed $42.5bn tie-up between US cable giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC). The web vid upstart provided the FCC with a 256-page petition [PDF] outlining its feelings on the matter and making the case for the watchdog to shoot …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Aug 2014

'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended the deadline for public comment on its net neutrality proposals – after a flood of traffic borked the agency's website yet again. At the heart of the proposals are rules that could allow huge corporations to pay for prioritized internet traffic. While on the one hand, …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2014
School kids

FCC OKs $5 BEEELLION Wi-Fi cash splash in schools, libraries

Five billion dollars will be used to fund Wi-Fi networks in US schools and libraries after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed an overhaul of the E-rate program. The commission issued an order that will pour $2bn of additional funds into E-rate over the next two years for the purpose of installing and upgrading …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2014

FCC boss Wheeler clears way for internet TV and cable unbundling

Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler has outlined a plan which could lead to a change in the way Americans pay for television and internet services. The FCC boss said in a late Tuesday blog post that internet TV services should be afforded the same access rights to network programming as satellite TV providers …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2014

ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US

One of the most powerful men in the US Senate has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to tour all of the United States of America to hear citizens' views, face to face, on net neutrality. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy said in a letter to chairman Tom Wheeler that the FCC's decision to hold public debates on its …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Aug 2014

Net Neutrality? Hold my coffee, I got this: FCC says it's still considering all options for Open Web

The Federal Communications Commission says that – despite immense pressure from all sides – all options are still on the table for implementing its grand Open Internet scheme. That's the scheme that may or may not end up enforcing so-called net neutrality rules on the internet, and has had millions of comments from the public …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Sep 2014

Obama HURLS FCC under train, GUTPUNCHES ISPs in net neut battle

Barack Obama has set the cat among the pigeons in the battle over net neutrality – by issuing a blunt demand that internet access be treated as a public utility in the United States. In a two-minute video, also given its own page on the White House website, Obama warns that "abandoning the principles" behind the internet's …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Nov 2014
Angry woman on mobile

You, Verizon. What's with the download throttle? Explain yourself – FCC boss

The head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is demanding an explanation from Verizon over the carrier's decision to throttle LTE speeds for heavy users. Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote to Verizon CEO Daniel Mead seeking information about the network's plan to deliberately slow data speeds for the top five per cent of …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Jul 2014

Democrats pitch long-shot bid for FCC ban on prioritization deals

A group of Democrats in Congress have drafted a bill to bar the FCC from allowing "fast lane" prioritization deals. Dubbed the "Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act," the legislation would call on the FCC to ban carriers from making the paid prioritization deals in which content providers pay service providers to receive …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2014
management regulation1

LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy

US hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners is suing the US government - and specifically the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall), for its part in the demise of optimistic wireless broadband network LightSquared. The network filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last May after the FCC …
Simon Rockman, 14 Jul 2014

'Big Internet' wades into 'net neutrality' battle with the FCC

Major internet companies have submitted their comments to the US Federal Communications Commission's consultation on new rules for internet discrimination and pricing – the so-called "net neutrality" consultation. The Internet Association – which lobbies on behalf of Google, Amazon, Facebook and others including Reddit – said in …
Team Register, 14 Jul 2014
FCC logo

FCC seeks $48K fine from mobile phone-jamming driver

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is asking for a $48,000 fine to be levied against a man who allegedly kept a phone jammer in his car. The FCC said that it would be seeking to impose three counts of a $16,000 penalty against Florida resident Jason Humphreys for illegally operating a mobile phone jamming device and …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Apr 2014

Merger-hungry Comcast and Time Warner withdraw from FCC commissioner's dinner event

Executives from Comcast and Time Warner Cable are stepping back from plans to fund a gala dinner for Mignon Clyburn, a member of the US Federal Communications Commission(FCC). The two firms had been among the companies set to sponsor a Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner event honoring commsissioner Clyburn. The foundation, …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Aug 2014

FCC spikes Sprint with $7.5m fine over Do Not Call violation

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has levied its largest do-not-call fine ever against a US telco, in this case Sprint. The FCC said that it would be extracting a $7.5m payment from the company as part of a settlement deal and compliance plan. The deal will settle a complaint filed by the FTC accusing the firm of …
Shaun Nichols, 20 May 2014
Video

US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale

US television broadcasters are suing the FCC over the regulator's planned auction of TV spectrum space to mobile phone networks. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) said it has objections to the framework the watchdog has laid out for an auction in which broadcasters sell off their spectrum space to carriers who will …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Aug 2014

Verizon to FCC: What ya looking at? Everyone throttles internet traffic

Verizon is hitting back at the FCC's criticism over plans to throttle bandwidth hogs' download speeds. The US telco said in a letter [PDF], obtained by The Register, to the American watchdog's commissioner Tom Wheeler that its plan to limit data speeds at times of heavy use was not only legal – but a commonly used tactic for …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Aug 2014

Congressman pitches bill to disarm FCC in net neutrality warfare

An Ohio congressman is seeking to strip the FCC of its biggest weapon in the battle over net-neutrality protections. Republican representative Bob Latta says that his HR 4752 would amend the Communications Act of 1934 in order to remove the portion of the act which would allow the FCC to reclassify broadband services. That …
Shaun Nichols, 30 May 2014

America, here's what the FCC's Rosenworcel REALLY thinks about your broadband

One of the FCC's five commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel, says she wants to use both the 1934 and 1996 telecommunication laws to bring US broadband up to date. The problem is that today's rules, here in America, are still focused on the telephone era, when really they need to account for the internet age. Sound familiar? Yes, …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Nov 2014

FCC mulls two-speed internet, axing net neutrality ... unless you convince it otherwise

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set the ball rolling on new rules that could allow companies to pay for prioritised internet traffic. Tom Wheeler, the watchdog's chairman, put forward a proposal [PDF, details] "seeking public comment on how best to protect and promote an open internet". Two of his fellow …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 May 2014
Protesters outside FCC headquarters

FCC chairman to rethink controversial net neutrality proposals

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now planning to rewrite its controversial rules in regards to net neutrality. The Commission on Monday confirmed earlier reports from the Wall Street Journal that chairman Tom Wheeler is looking to change the proposed net neutrality policies guiding how firms can negotiate and …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2014
Gold Hat stinking badges

FCC commish: We don't need no steenkin' net neutrality rules

There's no need to issue new network neutrality rules since they wouldn't necessarily have any benefit, and people don’t really care about network performance issues, according to US FCC commissioner Michael O’Reilly. The Republican commissioner made the comments in an op-ed piece for National Review, co-written with …
Iain Thomson, 11 Jul 2014

Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS

Comcast has branded Netflix, Discovery and others extortionists after they opposed the ISP's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable In a dossier to US watchdog the FCC [PDF], Comcast claimed companies lobbying against its merger are hoping to force it into making concessions that benefit them. Specifically, Comcast alleges …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Sep 2014
FCC logo

AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits

US wireless megacarrier AT&T has told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it could withdraw from an upcoming wireless spectrum auction over proposed buying limits. The carrier on Wednesday argued that if current caps aren't lifted, AT&T and other carriers would not be able to obtain enough spectrum space to properly …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Apr 2014
FCC logo

Republicans turn up heat on FCC over net neutrality push

A group of conservative lawmakers are calling on FCC boss Tom Wheeler to take a step away from his plans to mandate a net neutrality policy for the communications watchdog. In a letter (PDF) signed and posted by House Speaker John Boehner, several prominent Republicans inform Wheeler of their opposition to what they call " …
Shaun Nichols, 14 May 2014

FCC launches probe into Verizon/Netflix spat

The Federal Communications Commision (FCC) has announced it will investigate whether Verizon deliberately slowed traffic from Netflix. Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a statement on Friday that the commission will "collect information" on how the ISP handled traffic from the streaming video service as the two firms were negotiating …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jun 2014

FCC boss threatens to BRING WRATH DOWN on states that limit broadband competition

The head of the US Federal Communications Commission has threatened to take action against states that limit the ability of cities to build their own broadband networks. Chairman Tom Wheeler said that the commission is prepared to overrule state laws that would restrict cities from deploying community-funded broadband networks …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jun 2014
Protesters outside FCC headquarters

Net neutrality protesters set up camp outside FCC headquarters

A posse of net neutrality activists has set up a camp outside the Washington, DC headquarters of the Federal Communication Commission to protest the agency's plans to allow a pay-for-play internet. Protesters outside FCC headquarters Not exactly Tahrir Square "We don't have armies of paid lobbyists at our disposal but we …
Iain Thomson, 07 May 2014

FCC greenlights Verizon buyout of Vodafone

Verizon's plan to acquire all outstanding shares in its US wireless business has been granted the approval of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC said on Wednesday that new rulings on foreign ownership have allowed it to speed up approval of such investment deals, in this case Verizon's plan to acquire Vodafone …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Dec 2013

FCC eases rules for big telcos ahead of spectrum auction

The US Federal Communications Commission is being praised by large telcos following the introduction of new rules for the upcoming wireless spectrum auctions. The Commission said on Thursday that it was planning to implement a set of rules that will limit the amount of space large carriers can purchase in various markets next …
Shaun Nichols, 15 May 2014
Cat 5 cable

Dish Network to FCC: Block that Comcast/Time Warner merger

US satellite TV provider Dish Network has asked the Federal Communications Commission to block the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and it's none too happy about AT&T's pending acquisition of DirecTV, either. The company's position was made known on Wednesday in a mandatory filing with the FCC summarizing a …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2014
FCC logo

FCC MUST protect net neutrality to preserve AMERICA, say Google et al

The biggest names on the web – from Google and Level 3 to Microsoft and Facebook – have urged the US Federal Communications Commission to safeguard net neutrality. In a signed letter to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and commissioners Mignon Clyburn, Jessica Rosenworcel, Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly, more than 100 companies urged the …
Shaun Nichols, 08 May 2014
FCC logo

FCC doubles school broadband fund with $2bn boost

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has earmarked a $2bn fund for broadband expansion. The commission said that the money would go towards E-Rate, an initiative to offer broadband internet capabilities at virtually every school in the US over the next five years. The $2bn will effectively double funding for the …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Feb 2014

FCC boss says he'll SHAME broadband firms for fibbing on speeds

Federal Communications Commission boss Tom Wheeler has said that he will issue written warnings to some US broadband carriers following an investigation that found some companies are still not delivering advertised speeds. Wheeler said that while the broadband market as a whole is doing a better job of offering users promised …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jun 2014

Congresscritters sound off to FCC's Wheeler on net neutrality plans

Days after announcing new plans for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), chairman Tom Wheeler faced members of Congress to hear feedback on net neutrality. Speaking to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Wheeler faced criticism and concern from both sides of the political aisle as …
Shaun Nichols, 20 May 2014
mr creosote

FCC: We're GUTTED people think we'd gut net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Tom Wheeler has confirmed reports that proposed changes to internet governance will abandon net neutrality principles and says companies can charge extra for some types of traffic so long as it's "commercially reasonable." "There are reports that the FCC is gutting the Open …
Iain Thomson, 24 Apr 2014

FCC boss Wheeler: Lack of broadband choice is screwing Americans

US Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler has issued his most damning indictment of America's broadband infrastructure to date – claiming more than half of citizens have only one ISP in their area offering 25Mbps or faster connections, and that competition has been crippled by a telecoms duopoly. "The simple …
Iain Thomson, 04 Sep 2014
School kids

FCC to spend $2 BEEELLION to install Wi-Fi in US schools

The US Federal Communications Commission says it plans to outfit the nation's schools and libraries with Wi-Fi and high-speed broadband connections, and it has earmarked $2bn to do it. "The simple fact of the matter is that the free market has failed to provide basic broadband connectivity to more than 15 million Americans," FCC …
Neil McAllister, 20 Jun 2014

RIP net neutrality? FCC mulls FAST LANES for info superhighway

US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Tom Wheeler has had a major change of heart when it comes to net neutrality, it's reported. The The Wall Street Journal claims the FCC will propose new rules on net neutrality that would allow companies to pay for faster access to their websites and services, so long as they …
Iain Thomson, 24 Apr 2014