Articles about Fcc

shutterstock_mobile_theft_648

Anti-theft kill switches in smartphones just got a little less creepy

Some of the largest smartphone vendors and mobile carriers in the US say they have hit a milestone in the use of privacy-friendly anti-theft tools. The 16 members of the Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Committee said Tuesday that as of the end of the month, all smartphones they ship and activate in the US will not only be pre- …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2016

LTE-U vs. WiFi fight gets closer to a settlement

FCC filings by Broadcom reveal the chip-maker is still feeling bullish about the controversial LTE-U (LTE-Unlicensed) push. In a world of squeezed spectrum, US carriers are keenly watching the development of LTE-U, because it would let them borrow Wi-Fi frequencies if they're not being used. That idea is controversial because …

Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

Comment ISPs should be banned from “speeding up” internet packets, says a former senior member of Obama’s White House crack tech team, the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Self-facilitating policy wonk Brian Forde (for it is he) earned derision on Twitter after he urged ISPs not to send packets any faster than they already …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016
shutterstock_236128771

FCC approves 5G auction

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has unanimously approved the auction of a large block of its airwaves to be used by next-generation 5G networks. The regulator's decision will make the United States the first nation to allocate a large chunk of high frequencies to the coming technology. Those frequencies were …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jul 2016

EU eyes flaw in Google’s cash machine

Analysis The European Commission has opened an aggressive new front in its battle with Google, one that Google thought it had secured years ago. And this is one that starts to gnaw away at Google’s core cash generation business. As well as advancing its prosecution of Google over vertical search, the new third area where the Commission …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016

In these troubling times, senators unite to end America's big divide – rural v urban broadband

The US Senate has formally formed its first informal committee to push for better broadband in America's countryside. The bi-partisan Senate Broadband Caucus will be made up of five senators who represent states with large rural populations and will push for laws that help to expand high-speed internet service into those …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2016
Man checks mobile while sitting on skateboard ramp. Photo by Shutterstock

Verizon, KT, Telefonica: On three continents, operators prepare for 5G

In the week of Brexit and Iceland, a London event perhaps did not need any more reminders about falling behind the rest of the world – but a final, unavoidable conclusion from last week’s 5G World was that the east Asian operators, always very technically progressive, are also in a league of their own when it comes to detailed …
Wireless Watch, 06 Jul 2016

FCC starts running from cable box rip-off kill-off

Twenty billion dollars is a lot of incentive, as the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has found out. Following a proposal in January, later approved by three of the five FCC Commissioners, cable companies would be obliged to let third parties produce set-top boxes by making subscriber and channel information …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jun 2016
Fight for the Future FCC protest

Special delivery: Activists drop 100,000 net neutrality complaints on FCC

Activists have delivered a massive package to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they say contains roughly 100,000 citizen complaints. Members of Fight for the Future say they collected the complaints from Americans who want the commission to investigate the use of "zero rating" programs by telcos. The …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jun 2016
Cut cable

Sliced your submarine cable? Fill in this paperwork

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved new rules that will require companies to report outages in submarine cables. Although submarine cables account for 95 per cent of the US' international internet traffic, as well as voice and data, the rules over reporting outages are weak and in most cases are simply …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jun 2016
Railway line split. Pic: Ian Sane

Neustar to split in two

Information services company Neustar will split into two separate public companies, it announced Tuesday. The split will see its current security, marketing and related data services put into one company and its traditional order management and numbering services in another. Current CEO Lisa Hook will run the first, and …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jun 2016
US Flag and money

US House to vote on whether poor people need mobile phones

The US House of Representatives could end the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Lifeline subsidized phone program in a vote today. The bill, HR5525 or the End Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act of 2016, threatens to prohibit the FCC paying out subsidies to mobile phone carriers who offer discounted mobile phone service for …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jun 2016

Cable box unlock block

US Congress has delayed plans by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to open up the cable set-top box, a decision that critics say will cost US consumers $1.6bn a month. The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a rider in a key budget bill that would require the FCC to carry out additional studies into the plan …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jun 2016

Net neutrality victory: DC court backs full rules

Analysis Net neutrality rules that make it illegal for ISPs to interfere with data traffic across their networks have been upheld in full by the Washington DC Court of Appeals. The split decision (2-1 in favor) is a big victory, both for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Obama Administration, and a dramatic sign that …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jun 2016
milhouse_vs_nelson_648

Imagination: Come back to MIPS, Wi-Fi router makers, we have an FCC ban workaround

A fairly straightforward idea by Imagination Technologies could rescue American geeks' ability to run Openwrt on their routers. The freedom to tinker with Wi-Fi routers has been a hot topic ever since the Federal Communications Commission issued an edict that devices be locked down to protect America's spectrum. Its concern …
Cut cable

You. Comcast, TWC, Charter, DirecTV, Dish. Get in here and explain yourselves – Congress

The US Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has called on the nation's cable and satellite providers to testify about their customer service failings. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Rob Portman (R-OH) said that they have requested that executives from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, DirecTV and Dish …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2016

Google's tentacles stretch into the EU as well as the US

Google can provide a lucrative career option for EU policy advisors, with the UK hosting the busiest revolving door, according to new research. The US-based Campaign for Accountability has identified at least 16 Googlers joining the taxpayer’s payroll, with 64 advisors taking the more lucrative path the other way by joining …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Jun 2016
head of 50s-style robot

Lights! Camera! Infraction! Filmmakers behind 117 meeellion robocalls to shift DVDs

Three American film companies made 117 million illegal robo-calls to flog DVDs, a court has ruled. A jury in the Utah District Federal Court found the three outfits and their owner guilty of violating the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) by making the millions of calls touting DVDs of their movies. Ninety-nine million of …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Jun 2016

FCC swivels to online privacy, gets bitten in the ass by net neutrality

Analysis When America's comms watchdog the FCC passed its net neutrality rules despite an onslaught of criticism from telcos, the world rejoiced. But, as many of us noted at the time, the Open Internet Order was achieved through an imperfect approach: equating internet providers with phone companies by deciding they are Title II …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2016
hand in chain mail glove cutting meat with sharp knife

Republicans move to gut FCC and crush its net neutrality crusade with paralyzing budget rules

A new budget proposal would effectively bar the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from enforcing its net neutrality provisions. Buried deep within the House Appropriations Committee budget proposal [PDF] is a set of new rules that limit the FCC's ability to use its funds for activities including the regulation of " …
Shaun Nichols, 26 May 2016
Jam

Florida man, Chinese biz fined $48k, $35m on mobe signal jam raps

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined a Florida chap and a Chinese business over cellphone jamming boxes. The watchdog said it will try to extract [PDF] $34.9m from Shenzhen-based retailer CTS Technologies for marketing illegal jammers and, in a separate case, will fine [PDF] a bloke $48,000 for using a …
Shaun Nichols, 26 May 2016
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Big Cable uses critics' own arguments to slam set-top box shake-up

Analysis Amid a battle to end Big Cable's $20bn annual windfall from rented set-top boxes, the industry has hit on a novel strategy: use its opponents' own arguments against them. In a filing on the last day of public comment to the FCC's plan to open up the market, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) in the US …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 May 2016
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

US Telecom beats up FCC over investment

Analysis Telco lobbying group US Telecom has fired another broadside at their erstwhile friendly regulator, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), saying the billions telcos make each month isn't enough. This time, in a blog post from its vice president of law and policy, Diane Holland, Big Telco is complaining that the FCC – and …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 May 2016
Mr Creosote prepares to gobble

Charter-TWC merger official

Charter has finalized its $78.7bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House. The company announced on Wednesday that after months of legal wrangling with government regulators, the three-way merger deal to create the second-largest cable carrier in the US was now official. As part of an approval deal with the FCC, " …
Shaun Nichols, 18 May 2016
FCC paddling

Help! We're being crushed, cry billionaire cable giants

US cable carriers are crying foul against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over what they say are overbearing and heavy-handed regulations being placed on their market. Speaking at an event in Boston, Michael Powell - CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and former FCC chairman - said that …
Shaun Nichols, 16 May 2016
An angry mob

Six weeks later, Verizon customers still bemoaning Frontier flubs

More than a month after promising to smooth over migration issues, ISP Frontier Communications is still being criticized for spotty service to former Verizon customers. Frontier took over Verizon FiOS service in California, Florida, and Texas on April 1, and suffered almost immediate problems with connections in all three …
Shaun Nichols, 16 May 2016
NYC

TWC celebrates $79bn Charter merger by blacking out in New York

Time Warner Cable (TWC) was hit with an outage Monday throughout New York City. The cable giant acknowledged the issue on its Twitter feed, although the cause of the outage was not explained. NYC customers, we are aware of issues concerning all services. Techs are investigating. Services will be restored as soon as possible …
Shaun Nichols, 10 May 2016
Android for cars

Android's security patch quagmire probed by US watchdogs

Mobile carriers and gadget makers will be investigated over how slow they push important software security patches to people. The probe will be carried out by US trade watchdog the FTC and America's internet mall cop the FCC. The two agencies will work together to scrutinize manufacturers of phones, tablets and other gear, …
Shaun Nichols, 09 May 2016
Still from Stand By Me movie. Pie eating contest

Gobble away! Charter-Time Warner Cable merger OK'd by FCC

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given its blessing to Charter's $78.7bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Bright House Networks. The watchdog said on Friday in a brief statement that it had approved the massive biz gobble with conditions floated earlier by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. Those conditions …
Shaun Nichols, 06 May 2016

FCC urged to pause its fight against America's $20bn cable-box rip-off

Sixty US congressman have sent a letter [PDF] to Tom Wheeler – chairman of America's internet mall cop, the FCC – urging him to "press pause" on plans to open the cable box market to competition. In it, the elected representatives argue that the proposal to force large telco companies to allow third parties to produce set-top …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 May 2016
Aligator eating a crab

FCC gives the nod to $17.7bn US cable mega-merger (no, not that one)

America's internet mall cop the FCC has approved the proposed $17.7bn merger between Altice and US cable provider Cablevision. The deal, which is now only awaiting approval by state regulators, will give the Dutch-based telecoms biz Altice the fourth largest cable network in the US. If the gobble is successful, Cablevision …
Shaun Nichols, 04 May 2016
shutterstock_236128771

FCC 126MHz 5G auction

The FCC says that it will be able to offer 126MHz of spectrum space to US cell networks in its upcoming auction. The American comms regulator set the target with a planned May 31 start date for the auction, in which wireless carriers will bid on spectrum space previously used by TV stations for over-the-air broadcasts. The …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Apr 2016
Cable maze image via Shutterstock

FCC floats new rules for data lines that bind America's networks

The FCC has put forward a new set of rules governing the data network connections that glue our modern lives together. The proposed red-tape sets out a framework for regulations on specialized business data lines that, for example, hook up ATM networks and wired lines between mobile phone towers. The FCC estimates that such …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Apr 2016

Revealed: The revolving door between Google and the US govt – in pictures

A new project to uncover the symbiotic relationship between Google and the US government has uncovered some mind-boggling details. The Campaign for Accountability (CFA) this week launched the first two of its Google Transparency Projects. One of the projects – a visualisation of the revolving door between Google, the White …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2016

Why has Microsoft stopped being beastly to Google?

Analysis "You can't deprive a gangster of his gun" – Noel Coward Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sees things differently from his predecessor Steve Ballmer. And one of the first thing Nadella saw differently is Microsoft’s relationship to Google. On assuming the hot seat, he couldn’t understand why Microsoft was obviously at war with …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Apr 2016

Charter can gobble TWC for $78.7bn ... if it bins monthly download caps

FCC boss Tom Wheeler has put out the terms for his watchdog's approval of Charter Communications' $78bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Wheeler said Monday that he has passed along a proposed approval order and conditions for the other four FCC commissioners to vote on. "As proposed, the order outlines a number of …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Apr 2016

More questions than answers, literally, from America's privacy rules

Analysis New privacy rules put forward by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that are intended to give consumers more rights over what ISPs do with their data have left policymakers scratching their heads. When FCC chairman Tom Wheeler announced last month that he would issue a "notice of proposed rulemaking" – or NPRM in …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Apr 2016
Toshiba 47-inch 47L7453DB

Will Comcast's set-box killer murder your data caps? The truth revealed

Earlier this week, Comcast announced the Xfinity Partner Program, a service that will pipe TV directly into a subscriber's smart TV or streaming box without the need for a cable set-top box. The service would run through an app built on HTML5. This led some readers to question whether the TV content would be counted against …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Apr 2016
'Broken Copyright' StockMonkeys.com

Jaron Lanier: Big Tech is worse than Big Oil

Intellectual property isn't just vital to human dignity. It might be the only thing that can save your kids having a job, thanks to today's robber barons, like Google. So says virtual-reality pioneer and musician Jaron Lanier, who's come out swinging harder than ever at the Silicon Valley. Big Tech is seriously worse than Big …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Apr 2016

Big Cable threatens to sue FCC: You can't stop us ripping off customers

The US National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has threatened to sue the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) if it pushes ahead with plans to open up cable boxes. Speaking at a press conference Thursday, the NCTA's president – and former FCC chair – Michael Powell said that the plan to force cable companies …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Apr 2016
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Comcast stabs set-top boxes in the back, pipes directly into smart TVs

Comcast appears to be suddenly in the mood for murdering set-top boxes. Dubbed the Xfinity TV Partner Program, the campaign allows Comcast to offer its regular cable service through an app that runs on smart TVs or connected devices such as streaming video players. The app streams Comcast TV service, including broadcasts, …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Apr 2016

Big telco proxies go full crazy over cable box plan

The decision by the FCC to tackle the national rip-off that is cable boxes has entered crazy land with the publication of the proposed rules and formal backing by the Obama administration. A public comment period has formally opened on the proposal [PDF] to force cable companies to adopt a standard format for their information …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Apr 2016

House passes broadband bill despite promise of White House veto

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that it claims will prevent federal regulators from setting broadband prices, but critics say it's little more than an effort to undermine net neutrality regulations. During a sometimes heated discussion in Congress on Friday, representatives voted 241-173 to pass HR 2666 – the No …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Apr 2016
Curser icon over a news paper folded

Obama broadband veto

The White House has said it will veto a Congressional broadband bill for undermining net neutrality rules. H.R. 2666 – aka the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act – purports to put limits on the authority of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate what ISPs can charge. But critics have said …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2016
Man rools out fibre cable from a large wooden cable reel on a suburban street. Pic via Pixabay

We're not in Kansas City anymore, Toto ... Google axes free fiber internet

Google says it will no longer offer free Google Fiber internet in Kansas City, Missouri. As of May 19, customers in the first US city to get Fiber will no longer be able to sign up for the no-charge 5Mbps service, according to a new set of pricing plans. Those who are already on the free plan will be able to keep their …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Apr 2016
Pawn Shop

Cash-strapped Sprint to raise $2.2bn by flogging off its network hardware

Mobile carrier Sprint says it will raise $2.2bn by selling and then re-lease its own network hardware. The SoftBank-owned US telco said it will use money from the sale to return to profitability by providing a much-needed infusion of cash, as it works to turn around a business that had become a cash sink. "Sprint and SoftBank …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Apr 2016
Robot surveys city by the sea. Image via SHutterstock

Google's dream city isn't a new idea

A top Google executive says he’d love to build a city from scratch - without the messy humans getting in the way. Speaking at a conference, Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff first reminded the world that Google’s parent Alphabet was “the single most ambitious company that ever existed” apart from perhaps the Dutch East India …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Apr 2016

EU pushes probe up Google's ad alley

The European Union (EU) is pushing forward with its probe into Google/Alphabet's dominance of the online ad market, with the commissioner in charge suggesting formal charges are on the way. Margrethe Vestager spoke to The Wall Street Journal the day before getting on a plane to visit the US, and said her team was "advancing" …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Apr 2016

Eat your greens, FCC tells ISPs with new broadband "nutrition label"

The FCC has launched a "broadband label" that breaks down exactly what service your ISPs offers and all related fees to it. The goal of the new label - which looks a lot like that seen on the side of a food packet - is to increase transparency in broadband services. It will ensure there are "no surprises after you buy", FCC …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Apr 2016

Just how close are Obama and Google? You won’t believe the answer

An ethics watchdog thinks that the FTC may have misled Congress about how it protected Google, and highlights how the White House went into panic mode to limit the damage to the giant ad slinger over a newspaper report last year. Last March, Google learned that the Wall Street Journal was about to publish details of how the …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Apr 2016