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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

'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

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
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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

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

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

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
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
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
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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
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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
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 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

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
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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 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
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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

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
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

FCC boss Wheeler talks tough on net neutrality with Title II threat

Just days after being accused of gutting net neutrality provisions in the US, the head of the US Federal Communications Commission is vowing to take any measures necessary to prevent a multi-tiered internet. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said on Tuesday that the commission would continue to enforce an open internet policy, even if …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Apr 2014

FCC says US telcos can start moving to IP-based calling, but in baby steps

The Federal Communications Commission has given the official go-ahead for US telcos to experiment with scrapping their traditional, analog phone networks in favor of internet-based alternatives. Thursday's announcement made clear that the technology trials will be entirely voluntary and that customers will be able to opt out. …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jan 2014
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FCC: How we'll RIP 'n' REPLACE OLD phone system for new IP tech

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is talking up the potential of a looming overhaul of the nation's telephony service. Chairman Tom Wheeler said that in the coming months the FCC will begin working with telcos on trials for new systems which will see the traditional communications circuit technologies move to new IP …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Nov 2013

FCC doubles 5GHz spectrum in prep for one-gigabit Wi-Fi

In a rare bit of bipartisanship, the Republican and Democratic commissioners of the US Federal Communications Commission have unanimously voted to loosen the rules governing the operation of Wi-Fi devices operating in the 5GHz band. "The new rules will make 100MHz of spectrum more accessible for use in homes and congested spaces …
Rik Myslewski, 01 Apr 2014
Grumpy cat

FCC net neutrality blueprint TRASHED by US appeals court

A US appeals court has ruled that net neutrality measures put in place by America's Federal Communications Commission are invalid. The FCC's latest attempt to compel ISPs to treat all traffic on an equal basis suffered a significant blow, after the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said (PDF): [E]ven …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Jan 2014
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Watchdog FCC gets new overlord ... so, how about that net neutrality, eh?

The new head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has formally relaxed into his office chair. The watchdog said Tom Wheeler was sworn in as director, and will now appoint his staff. Among the new faces set to take over at the telecoms regulator are chief of staff Ruth Milkman, and counselors Philip Verveer, Gigi B. …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Nov 2013

Mozilla asks FCC to unleash the nuclear option on net neutrality

Mozilla has filed a formal request to the US Federal Communications Commission asking it to reclassify internet-provision and content-provider's traffic under Title II of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which would ensure the net remains neutral. The Firefox firm's proposal is twofold. First, it petitions the FCC to reclassify …
Iain Thomson, 05 May 2014
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FCC chairman vows to rewrite net rules – with Prez Obama's blessing

The chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has pledged to come up with new rules to enforce network neutrality – after a court derailed his agency's previously issued orders. Tom Wheeler hopes his freshly proposed regulations will prevent internet providers from unfairly throttling traffic based on …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Feb 2014
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FCC boss: I get knocked down, but I get up again. You're never gonna keep net neutrality down

In the wake of a ruling stripping America's Federal Communications Commission of much of its net neutrality enforcement power, its chairman Tom Wheeler suggested that the watchdog will find other ways to maintain open access. Speaking at a Washington DC gathering of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, Wheeler said …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jan 2014

FCC delays spectrum auction to 2015

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is planning to delay the hotly anticipated auction of the former broadcast television spectrum space due to concerns that it is not yet ready to properly handle the reallocation process. The FCC on Friday said that it would push back the target date for its Broadcast Television …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Dec 2013
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FCC will have to drop a bombshell to solve net-neutrality conundrum

The Federal Communications Commission chairman's decision to draft new rules ensuring net neutrality principles are applied to internet traffic hasn't impressed many, and it's becoming clear that his agency will have to make an all-or-nothing decision on the issue. The January appeal court decision in Verizon v FCC gutted the …
Iain Thomson, 20 Feb 2014
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What kid uses wires? FCC supremo angry that US classrooms are filled with unused RJ45 ports

The head of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is calling on US lawmakers to change the way internet connectivity is funded and deployed in schools. Speaking at a legislative conference, Tom Wheeler – chairman of the watchdog – said the E-Rate program that supplies communications gear to schools and libraries in …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Mar 2014

FCC headman Wheeler calls for an 'open internet' – but what the %$#@! does he mean?

Just how "open" is US Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler's "open internet"? To paraphrase ex-President Bill Clinton's famous weasel words, "It depends upon what the mean of 'open' is." On Thursday morning, Wheeler put to a commission vote a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) "to preserve and protect the …
Rik Myslewski, 15 May 2014
Angry woman on mobile

New FCC supremo: Sort out your cell unlocking, mobe giants - OR ELSE

The US telco regulator has told mobile firms to come up with a plan allowing customers to receive unlock codes for their phones when their contracts are up – or it will force them to comply. The Federal Communications Commission said in a letter to the wireless trade group CTIA that the industry needed to adopt a voluntary …

FCC honcho: Shifting our crusty phone network to IP packets starts now

Although many, including telecom giant AT&T, may be of the opinion that the FCC has been dragging its feet on the transition from a time-division multiplexing (TDM) public phone network to an all IP system, Commission chairman Tom Wheeler says that efforts to define the new system will begin in earnest later this month. Speaking …
Rik Myslewski, 09 Jan 2014

Verizon finally drags FCC into court fisticuffs to end one-speed internet for all

Broadband provider Verizon and US watchdog the FCC will face off in court today in a crunch battle for net neutrality – a longstanding principle that guarantees a fair and level playing field for all on the web. Verizon and fellow ISPs want to charge websites and other online businesses a premium for piping their data faster to …

Look out, FCC: R.E.M., Aerosmith, Jello Biafra, 57 others join net neutrality crusade

Pity poor FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. Not only does he have some corporate heavyweights such as Verizon and Cisco opposing net neutrality and others such as Google and Microsoft supporting it, he now has another group voicing its concerns: rockers, poets, actors, and other members of "the creative community." "The open Internet's …
Rik Myslewski, 14 May 2014
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FCC boss hints at change to neutrality policy

Internet neutrality – the principle that all traffic is equal – may be the official policy of the Federal Communications Commission, but it's also something that new FCC chair Tom Wheeler seems to consider still on the table for discussion. That is, if the definition of “net neutrality” means there is never any scope for a …

New FCC headman brandishes net neutrality carrot and stick

Emulating the middle-of-the-road manner of the president who appointed him, new US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Tom Wheeler says that under his direction the Commission will take a hands-off approach to regulation, but will be poised to intervene when it sees telecom corporations acting against the best …
Rik Myslewski, 09 Jan 2014
The Register breaking news

FCC waves big fines at political robocallers

The US Federal Communications Commission has cited two robocalling operations used for political calls and says the companies have 15 days to stop or they will get fined $4.8m and/or $16,000 per call. "Consumers have increasingly been sounding the alarm on robocalls, rightly complaining about unwanted, intrusive cell phone calls …
Iain Thomson, 16 Mar 2013
Electronic devices dangerous to flight safety

Kiss goodbye to quiet skies: Now FCC ready to OK in-flight cellphone use

The US Federal Communications Commission has indicated that it plans to relax the rules about cellphone use in flights, meaning everyone's going to get an earful in the future. "Today, we circulated a proposal to expand consumer access and choice for in-flight mobile broadband," FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement on …
Iain Thomson, 22 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

Supreme Court sides with FCC in NIMBY wireless tower spat

The US Supreme Court has sided with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that local governments must act within a "reasonable period" – as defined by the FCC – to approve or deny requests by telcos to build new wireless towers. The ruling upholds an earlier decision by the Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which …
Neil McAllister, 20 May 2013
The Register breaking news

E-reader barons file FCC plea to opt out of disabled-friendly regs

E-reader manufacturers have petitioned to exempt themselves from accessibility regulations applied to communication services - and the FCC wants to know what you think about that. The claim comes from Amazon, Kobo, and Sony, who all claim that browsing or e-mail capability is just a distraction as their devices exist purely to …
Bill Ray, 07 Aug 2013