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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

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 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

RIP net neutrality? FCC boss mulls 'two-speed internet'

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 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

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
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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
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
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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
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 …
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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

FCC approves SoftBank's acquisition of Sprint

The $21.6bn acquisition of Sprint by Japan's SoftBank is now a go: as expected from rumors earlier this week, the FCC has ruled unanimously to approve it. "Today is a good day for all Americans who use mobile broadband services," acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said in a statement accompanying the lengthy ruling. "After …
Rik Myslewski, 06 Jul 2013
He likes Scratch

FCC votes to bring faster internet to US schools

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to overhaul its E-rate program, which subsidizes internet and telecommunications access for schools and libraries, with a goal of facilitating greater availability of modern, high-speed wired and wireless networks. "Preparing our nation's students with the skills they need …
Neil McAllister, 19 Jul 2013

FCC orders wireless carriers to protect customers' call info

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued new rules that clarify how wireless telecom providers should protect their customers' call records and other information. "This sensitive information can include phone numbers that a customer has called and received calls from, the durations of calls, and the phone's …
Rik Myslewski, 28 Jun 2013
Angry woman on mobile

US mobile telcos: All right, ALL RIGHT, FCC! We'll redo phone unlock rules

The five largest US wireless carriers say they are all onboard with new policies designed to make it easier for customers to use their mobile devices on the network of their choice. "We are pleased to announce AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless agreed to adopt a voluntary set of six principles for …
Neil McAllister, 13 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

FCC Chairman Genachowski to step down

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission, announced at a Friday-morning meeting that he will step down from his position as referee in a number of ongoing telecommunication battles, one of the hottest being internet control versus internet freedom. "I called this all-hands meeting of FCC employees …
Rik Myslewski, 22 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

FCC proposes freeing up massive chunk of wireless spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing to increase the amount of unlicensed spectrum available by 35 per cent in the biggest opening up of the airwaves in a decade. The FCC voted unanimously to open 195 megahertz of extra spectrum in the 5 GHz band for use with accredited equipment, but also to allow some of …
Iain Thomson, 21 Feb 2013

Almost everyone read the Verizon v FCC net neutrality verdict WRONG

Doomsday arrived this week – or is about to. That's if you've been reading the tech blogosphere. "We are the Folk Song Army. Everyone of us cares. We all hate poverty, war, and injustice, Unlike the rest of you squares." - Tom Lehrer A US appeals court ruled on Tuesday that America's communications watchdog the FCC didn't …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jan 2014
The Register breaking news

FCC plans to make Twitter, mobile networks disaster proof

The Federal Communications Commission is to have a series of talks around the US to figure out how to stop mobile network outages during natural disasters. A quarter of cell towers on the East coast were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy late last month and the FCC field hearings will focus on the problems service …

FCC to El Reg: Telstra's 'secret FBI snoop' doc public since 2001

When a “secret contract” between Telstra and the US government emerged last week, it was too juicy to miss. Fairfax lapped it up, as did Crikey (which later amended the story). ZDNet called it a “leaked document”, and Senator Scott Ludlam got in on the act, demanding that Telstra “come clean”. The problem is, the document wasn' …
The Register breaking news

FCC: Let Dish deploy 4G? Imagine a $1bn pile of cash ... ON FIRE

Letting Dish roll out LTE into its satellite frequencies will obliterate the value of neighbouring radio spectrum that the US government hopes to sell for billions, said the FCC. FCC rep Justin Cole told Bloomberg that allowing Dish to deploy 4G would "take a public asset potentially worth billions of dollars and turn it into a …
Bill Ray, 27 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

More Wi-Fi in the sky: FCC to help keep US flyers tweeting

The US spectrum regulator wants to release 500MHz of radio spectrum for aircraft backhaul, creating cheaper connectivity for passengers taking their entertainment into their own hands. Seventy per cent of American flyers take electronic devices with them, making the screen-back displays increasingly redundant, but mid-air …
Bill Ray, 10 May 2013
The Register breaking news

Court slaps down Verizon, upholds FCC data roaming rule

A US federal appeals court has unanimously upheld a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule that required wireless carriers to offer roaming data service at "reasonable" rates, rejecting a challenge by leading mobile telco Verizon Wireless. The FCC has long required carriers to offer roaming for voice calls, which allows …
Neil McAllister, 04 Dec 2012
project glass freefall

Google begs for secrecy as it files Glass design with FCC

Google has lodged information about its forthcoming “Glass” spectacle-mounted computer with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but has asked that many details be kept from the public eye. Available here, the eight PDF files the FCC has made public comprise correspondence between Google and the FCC and the results of …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

Man files FCC complaint over AT&T FaceTime blocking

A San Francisco man has filed a complaint against AT&T with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the carrier's decision to charge customers extra to use Apple's FaceTime video conferencing on its 3G and 4G networks. The man, an architect who wishes to remain anonymous, told Business Insider on Wednesday that …
Neil McAllister, 18 Oct 2012
The Register breaking news

FCC urges rethink of aircraft personal-electronics blackout

The head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has written to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) asking for a rethink of the current ban on using electronic items in flight. Currently all electronic devices have to be switched off on US aircraft operating below 10,000 feet, and can only used in flight-safe mode ( …
Iain Thomson, 07 Dec 2012
The Register breaking news

Dish: With these restrictions, FCC, you are totally crippling us

FCC Chair Julius Genachowski has said that Dish Networks will get its licence for a US mobile network, but with restrictions that the company claims will fatally undermine its business. Approval would allow Dish to use frequencies hitherto reserved for satellite communications with an earth-based network, but the restrictions …
Bill Ray, 21 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

FCC to unleash unlicensed spectrum, relieve 'Wi-Fi traffic jam'

The US Federal Commnicatioons Commission has announced plans to open up a chunk of unlicensed spectrum to relieve the "Wi-Fi traffic jam," according to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. "We're announcing today that we're moving to free up a substantial amount of spectrum for Wi-Fi to relieve Wi-Fi congestion and improve Wi-Fi …
Rik Myslewski, 10 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Quarter of Eastern cell towers BLOWN down BY SANDY - FCC

Around a quarter of mobile phone towers in the ten East-coast states hit by Hurricane Sandy have been damaged or destroyed, the Federal Communications Commission has said. The FCC is anticipating continued communication problems as other towers are running on backup power. "This was and still is a devastating storm with a …
cash_money_dollars

Carriers resisting FCC slug on international cables

Back in April, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed revising how contributions are made to America’s Universal Service Fund (USF), suggesting drawing international cable operators into the fund’s ambit. The operators are now pushing back with a filing arguing that submarine cable operators should retain their …

Don't Panic! Google FCC filing reveals mystery media device

Google has filed paperwork with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a mysterious new media player device, leading to widespread speculation that a successor to the ill-fated Nexus Q may be forthcoming. But if that's true, what's with the Douglas Adams references? The paperwork, published on the FCC's site on …
Neil McAllister, 20 May 2013
The Register breaking news

FCC: Kids, here's 100MHz of radio spectrum - but you have to share

US regulator the FCC will hand over another 100MHz of radio spectrum to unlicensed wireless users, just as long as they let someone know they're using it, as the White Space expands to fill every gap. The band runs from 3550MHz to 3650MHz, making it slightly larger than the 2.4GHz band used for Wi-Fi. It's currently occupied …
Bill Ray, 13 Dec 2012
The Register breaking news

FCC: Let's kill analogue early, fob diehards off with converter boxes

Every pay TV market has its idiosyncrasies, particularly for Multi System Operators (MSOs) such as Time Warner or Comcast in the US and Virgin Media in the UK. And in the US, one of these idiosyncrasies is the requirement that cable operators retransmit so called "must-carry" signals in both analogue and digital formats. This …
Faultline, 15 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

FCC to TV broadcasters: Ready, set ... give your spectrum up

The FCC is poised to publish the mechanism by which US TV broadcasters will be able to swap some of their allocated radio spectrum – which they mostly received for free – for a little cold, hard cash come 2014. The move of asking broadcasters to give some spectrum up was expected, but The Washington Post reckons the FCC will be …
Bill Ray, 07 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

Tech fest 'net activists offer free 'Super Wi-Fi': Now go tell the FCC

A campaign against the selling off of TV spectrum by the national regulator is offering free Wi-Fi, backhauled over newly-released TV spectrum, in the hope that those using it will sign a petition for greater availability. The free wireless is available at the South by Southwest Festival which kicked off in Austin, Texas, on …
Bill Ray, 11 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

FCC turns auction upside down for $300m rural 3G broadband

A US regulator is proposing a reverse auction to attain national broadband, providing $300m to the company that claims to be able to do the most with the cash pot. "Auction 901" won't start until September 27, but the FCC has published an interactive map showing which areas of the US are still lacking wireless coverage so …
Bill Ray, 13 Feb 2012
The Register breaking news

Net neuters seek FCC relief from AT&T's FaceTime fees

A trio of public-interest groups plans to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission charging that AT&T's requirement that its subscribers move up to a higher-priced plan if they want to use Apple's FaceTime video conferencing over wireless broadband is in violation of the FCC's net-neutrality rules "There's a …
Rik Myslewski, 18 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

Google to FCC: Protecting Street View coder didn't derail probe

Google has claimed to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that protecting the identity of the engineer responsible for the Street View data slurp had no consequence on the watchdog's investigation. The probe ended with the FCC fining Google $25,000 for impeding its inquiry into the company's fleet of photo-snapping …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Apr 2012