Sen. Al Franken Urges FCC, DOJ to Investigate Comcast's Xfinity Video Services on Xbox Live

May 9, 2012 -

Minnesota Senator Al Franken (D) says that Comcast is thumbing its nose at net neutrality rules by offering an exemption to data caps when it comes to its Xfinity video services on Xbox Live. He feels so strongly about it that he has sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) asking both agencies to investigate the company. At the heart of Franken's complaint is that the content that is streamed directly to the Xbox console will not be counted against subscribers' 250GB monthly data cap.

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Sony Holding Off on Streaming Video Services Because of Comcast Data Caps

May 2, 2012 -

Sony said earlier this week that it is holding off on launching a video service online because of Comcast's data capping policies and its preferential treatment to its own video services. Sony executive Michael Aragon told Variety on Monday that Comcast's discriminatory data caps are giving the company concerns about launching an Internet video service that would compete with cable and satellite TV services.

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Senator to FCC: Slow Down on National Broadband Plan

April 9, 2012 -

US Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) asked the Federal Communications Commission on Friday to slow down its plans to make changes to the National Broadband Plan, claiming that it would reduce the amount of resources available to broadband internet investment in rural telecommunications. His specific objections to the plan are related to the Universal Service Fund, which was originally established to fund the growth of telecommunications services in rural and underserved areas.

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Public Knowledge Urges FCC To Investigate Data Capping

March 26, 2012 -

Left leaning internet advocacy group Public Knowledge sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday asking the agency to investigate data capped broadband plans, particularly as they related to iOS devices.

Last year Public Knowledge asked the FCC to investigate wireless data caps from AT&T and Verizon, and wired caps from Comcast twice last year.

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Net Neutrality Fight Returns to Court

March 5, 2012 -

Verizon and Metro PCS sued the Federal Communications Commission last year over its net neutrality rules. At the time a judge dismissed their lawsuits because the rules had yet to be finalized. After the new net neutrality rules went to effect, the two companies reasserted themselves and re-filed lawsuits. Last Thursday the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that their cases can now move forward.

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Is Usage-Based Billing Inevitable in the U.S.?

December 1, 2011 -

Are usage based billing and data caps going to become the standard for cable and broadband operators in the United States as a way to combat services such as Netflix, Hulu and Roku? One analyst familiar with the sector says that it is inevitable, though who is going to jump in first remains a mystery. Craig Moffett, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York predicts that at least one service provider will make a move towards this in 2012.

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FCC Wants Further Scrutiny of AT&T T-Mobile Merger

November 23, 2011 -

AT&T is finding that making the $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA a reality will be an uphill battle. The mobile broadband operator expected the FCC and other U.S. government agencies to green light the merger, but this week FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asked commissioners to send the proposal to a judge for a hearing and further scrutiny. FCC staff came to the conclusion that the proposed merger would "significantly diminish competition" and lead to job losses.

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FCC's Net Neutrality Rules Officially in Effect

November 22, 2011 -

The Federal Communication Commission’s Net Neutrality rules are officially in effect. The new rules for ISP's in the United States became official on Sunday - nearly 11 months after the Federal Communications Commission voted to adopt them in December of last year. The Open Internet Order requires wireless and landline broadband providers to make certain disclosures to consumers about the way they manage traffic on the Internet from customers and comply with a number of other rules that are intended to preserve the openness of the Internet.

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Republican Senate Resolution to Kill FCC Net Neutrality Rules Fails

November 11, 2011 -

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's (R-Texas) effort in the Senate to kill the FCC's net neutrality rules has failed. The Senate voted, 46-52, against moving forward with a resolution that would have overturned federal regulations enacted in 2010 that govern anti-competitive behavior online.

"It's time to push back" against federal agencies that are overreaching their authority and enacting burdensome regulations, she argued before the Senate voted on a motion to proceed.

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FCC's Connect to Compete Brings Low-Cost Broadband, Computers to Families

November 10, 2011 -

The Federal Communications Commission revealed that - as part of its Connect to Compete initiative - it will bring low-cost broadband Internet and computers to any family that has at least one child in school that qualifies for the national school lunch program. The federal agency has teamed up with cable operators around the country as well as Redemtech Inc. and Microsoft for low-cost laptops. The broadband side of the program aims to serve around 25 million Americans at a cost of around $4 billion annually. Families can enjoy the discounted rate of $9.95 per month for two years.

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White House Nominates Two For FCC Commissioner Seats

November 2, 2011 -

The White House has nominated two attorneys to be the next Federal Communications Commission commissioners. Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai have been nominated to replace one Republican and one Democratic vacancy. The balance of power won't shift much, with the FCC's current 3-1 Democratic majority moving to a 3-2 majority.

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FCC, Wireless Carriers Agree to New Overage Alert System

October 17, 2011 -

The Federal Communications Commission and the nation's wireless carriers have hammered out an agreement that will have wireless operators notifying customers when they are nearing their monthly limits on usage for voice, text, or data services. The FCC estimates that tens of millions of wireless phone subscribers are hit with overage charges each year; their data is based on their own studies on the issue, as well as data from the Government Accountability Office and private research firms.

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FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Remarks on 'Connect to Compete'

October 13, 2011 -

This week Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced Connect to Compete, a new initiative that aims to increase broadband adoption and digital literacy training in disadvantaged communities throughout the United States. The initiative taps into existing FCC programs, and partnerships with nonprofits and the private sector. A complete overview, as detailed by the FCC, can be found here.

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FCC Wants to use Universal Service Fund for Broadband Expansion in America

October 7, 2011 -

The Federal Communications Commission has been eyeballing a fund traditionally earmarked for rural phone service as a way to fund rural broadband. Most Americans that have a phone pay to fund this rural telephone program through the Universal Service Fund, or USF. When you pay your bill you pay a small stipend into this fund, which the government then uses (or is at least supposed to) towards building phone systems in wildly rural areas.

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Free Press Files Lawsuit Against New Net Neutrality Rules

September 28, 2011 -

Here's a news story we saw coming. It seems that some of the biggest net neutrality advocates in the country have decided to file a lawsuit against the rules ratified by the Federal Communications Commission. When the FCC finally issued the finished version of it network neutrality rules and announced they would go into effect at the end of November, lawsuits against the policy where waiting in the wings such as those that were thrown out earlier in the year by Verizon and Metro PCS.

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Sen. Jay Rockefeller Defends FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

September 26, 2011 -

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller is taking aim at critics of the Federal Communications Commission's net-neutrality rules that were published on Friday afternoon in the Federal Register.

"Americans want the Internet to stay free and open," Rockefeller said. "After a long, deliberative process, the FCC came up with balanced rules that promote transparency and prohibit discrimination. I am disappointed that my colleagues want to use a legislative short cut to unravel these rules."

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FCC Finalizes Net Neutrality Rules, in effect Nov. 20

September 22, 2011 -

The Federal Communications Commission has filed its finalized the open Internet (net neutrality) rules it voted on late last year. The rules now go to the Federal Register, who will publish them tomorrow and make them official. The rules go into effect on November 20, but chances are they will be put on hold as two lawsuits by prominent service providers will be relaunched. Both Verizon and MetroPCS had taken their lawsuits to the federal courts earlier this year but both were tossed out because the rules hadn't been finalized.

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Presidential Candidate Rick Perry Backs AT&T and T-Mobile Merger

September 1, 2011 -

Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in May endorsing the proposed merger between telecommunications companies T-Mobile and AT&T. On Wednesday the Justice Department went to court to block the merger. The National Journal reports that one of the leading Republican presidential candidates is backing the proposed AT&T - T-Mobile merger.

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FCC Restarts Merger Shot Clock on AT&T-T-Mobile

August 26, 2011 -

Today the Federal Communications Commission restarted its "shot clock" for the AT&T–T-Mobile merger review. The announcement follows AT&T’s fourth and allegedly final revision of the economic models it is using to make its case for the T-Mobile acquisition.

Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner issued a short statement today with its thoughts on the latest move by the FCC:

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FCC Hosts Apps for Communities Challenge

August 4, 2011 -

The Knight Foundation and the FCC have teamed up to challenge app developers to create a software application that "delivers personalized, actionable information" to the public that are least likely to be online. Using local government and public data in under-served communities, developers will need to create an app that enables Americans to benefit from broadband communications.

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FCC: Net Neutrality Rules Heading to Office of Management Budget 'Soon'

June 25, 2011 -

A Federal Communications Commission spokesperson says that the agency is expected to send its net neutrality rules to the Office of Management Budget for Paperwork Reduction Act for vetting very soon. Of course, as Free Press points out, this is the first time that the FCC has admitted that it has dragged its feet on sending them in. Net neutrality rules were adopted in December 2010 but because of new reporting rules and requirements the commission had to put it out for comment and has been vetting it since April.

The rules can't be challenged in court until they are published in the Federal Register, which can't do that until the rules go through the OMB and are put out for 30 days. Then the rules don't go into effect for another 60 days. Given all of that the rules won't likely go into effect until October of this year.

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Advocacy Groups To FCC: Do Not Allow AT&T and T-Mobile Merger

June 21, 2011 -

A number of public interest groups have come out swinging against AT&T, saying that its proposed merger with T-Mobile will harm consumers and stifle competition in the mobile space. The groups, which include Media Access Project and Consumers Union, filed a reply with the Federal Communications Commission on Monday in response to arguments from AT&T and T-Mobile that the merger would be beneficial to consumers because it would accelerate the deployment of next-generation wireless access. The groups say that the opposite will happen if the FCC allows the merger to go through.

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Rep. Matsui Introduces 'The Broadband Affordability Act of 2011'

June 15, 2011 -

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) introduced a bill yesterday called "The Broadband Affordability Act of 2011." The bill would deliver high speed Internet access to lower income households to close what she calls the "the digital divide." Matsui introduced an identical bill in 2009. She is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

Matsui said that low-income Americans need access to affordable high-speed internet as much as anyone else, to succeed in our modern and connected society:

"Income should not hinder the ability of hard-working American families to attain broadband services that have become a necessity, not a luxury in our technologically driven economy. If you don't have it, you are simply at a competitive disadvantage," Matsui said in a statement.

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Free Press Files Complaint Against Verizon

June 7, 2011 -

Earlier this week advocacy group Free Press formally complained to the Federal Communications Commission concerning Verizon's ban of 4G tethering apps, claiming that the action violates the openness rules set forth in the agency's net neutrality guidelines and terms the company agreed to when it bought the spectrum in 2008.

In its complaint, Free Press claims that the wireless carrier asked Google to remove tethering apps from the Android Market. The motivation for doing this, according to Free Press, is because Verizon wants to charge a monthly fee of $20 for subscribers to use their phone as an ad hoc modem. Free Press says that these requests to Google violate the openness rules that the FCC attached to the C Block spectrum that Verizon bought at auction in 2008. Those rules require that Verizon allow users to use devices, services and apps without interference from the carrier.

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AT&T's Generous Contributions to Lawmaker-Linked Charities

June 1, 2011 -

How do you give money to politicians without actually giving them a big fat check directly? Write a check to a charity they are closely associated with. That is just what AT&T has been doing, and it is getting the attention of the public and media outlets.

AT&T has given a substantial amount of money to charities connected to several lawmakers including Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia), who just happens to be the chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which has direct jurisdiction over the Federal Communications Commission. A charity associated with Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), who just happens to be on the Senate Appropriations Committee. AT&T also gave a generous contribution to a charity associated with Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina), the No. 3 House Democrat. His daughter, Mignon Clyburn also happens to be a member of the Federal Communications Commission.

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Time Warner Applauds FCC Decision on 'Rural Telco Interconnection'

May 27, 2011 -

Time Warner Cable issued a short statement today praising a recent "declaratory ruling" on a petition submitted by the cable operator to the agency related to rural telco interconnection. The ruling basically says that local telephone companies must work with telecommunications companies to enable interconnection between networks, and traffic exchanges. The company went on to say that it has been trying to enter into rural communities in Maine - unsuccessfully - for the last three years.

Time Warner's short statement below:

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Rep. Darrell Issa Wants Answers From FCC's Baker

May 23, 2011 -

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has decided that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, a key investigative body of Congress which he chairs, will investigate FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker's jump from the FCC to Comcast-NBC Universal.

In a letter sent to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Friday, Issa said that Baker's departure has “generated questions” because of her recent vote to approve the Comcast and NBC merger.

Issa said that Baker's own statements about the process which led to the job offer leads him to believe that "it does not appear [Baker] violated any of her legal or ethical obligations in accepting a position with Comcast.”

Still, he thinks an investigation is still warranted “because only a short time has passed since the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, it is imperative that the public can trust the integrity of the process."

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Comcast-NBC Takes Heat over Funding Threat to Non-Profit

May 19, 2011 -

A controversial tweet from a non-profit supported by donations from Comcast has caused the company a bit of controversy over the last 24 hours and it all has to do with former FCC Comissioner Meredith Attwell Baker. In case you have forgotten, Meredith Attwell Baker approved the Comcast-NBC merger about four months ago and then - recently - took a job with the same company.

Reel Grrls is a summer camp for teenage girls in Seattle that offers courses on documentary film making, video production and film animation. The trouble began, as most trouble happens online these days - on Twitter. The official account for non-profit Reel Grrls tweeted its disdain for Baker joining Comcast-NBC as a lobbyist:

“OMG! @FCC Commissioner Baker voted 2 approve Comcast/NBC merger & is now lving FCC for A JOB AT COMCAST?!? http://su.pr/1trT4z #mediajustice”

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FCC Commissioner Turned Lobbyist Defends Comcast-NBC Job

May 16, 2011 -

Caught with her proverbial pants down, former FCC Commissioner and soon to-be Washington D.C. lobbyist for Comcast-NBC Meredith Attwell Baker issued a statement regarding her new job, the approval of the Comcast-NBC merger and the appearance of impropriety taking a job at the company has caused her.

The Republican commissioner issued the statement on Friday after several publications including the New York Times called into question her role in the merger and taking a job with the same company a mere four months after her vote. From her statement (found in full here - PDF):

"Not once in my entire tenure as a Commissioner had anyone at Comcast or NBCUniversal approached me about potential employment. When this opportunity became available in mid-April, I made a personal decision that I wanted to give it serious consideration.

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FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker Joins Comcast-NBC

May 12, 2011 -

Meredith Attwell Baker, one of the two Republican Commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission, plans to step down from the agency to take a lobbying job at Comcast-NBC. It's an odd turn of events, considering that at the time, Baker objected to the FCC attempts to impose conditions on the merger deal.

This news comes a mere four months after approving the deal. Now Baker will become a top DC lobbyist for the newly formed entity. The media and advocacy groups that opposed the merger are having a field day with the news.

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Will the New Nintendo 3DS be region free?:

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Andrew EisenThat doesn't mean there has to be a movie though. Having said that, I've no doubt that we will eventually get a Black Panther movie. But Stan Lee will probably learn about it around the same time you and I do.09/02/2014 - 2:34pm
MaskedPixelanteWell they have to get to him eventually. Captain America's shield didn't grow on a tree, the minerals to make it had to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is Wakanda.09/02/2014 - 2:31pm
E. Zachary KnightYes, but it has never been confirmed as in development, or even pre-production.09/02/2014 - 2:21pm
MaskedPixelanteBlack Panther's been on the short list for a while.09/02/2014 - 2:18pm
E. Zachary KnightIt is possible that Stan Lee mispoke. I don't think he knows everything Marvel movies. But it is a sweet idea if true.09/02/2014 - 2:04pm
Andrew EisenSo says Stan Lee who almost certainly wouldn't know.09/02/2014 - 2:04pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.cinemablend.com/new/Marvel-Black-Panther-Movie-Confirmed-By-Stan-Lee-66993.html Black Panther is apparently getting a movie. And maybe one for Black Widow, even though I think it's too late for her.09/02/2014 - 1:53pm
Cheater87Look what FINALLY came to Australia uncut! http://www.gamespot.com/articles/left-4-dead-2-gets-reclassified-in-australia/1100-6422038/09/02/2014 - 6:49am
Andrew EisenHence the "Uh, yeah. Obviously."09/02/2014 - 12:53am
SleakerI think Nintendo has proven over the last 2 years that it doesn't.09/02/2014 - 12:31am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Uh, yeah. Obviously.09/01/2014 - 8:20pm
Sleaker@AE - exclusives do not a console business make.09/01/2014 - 8:03pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that the current gen of consoles is representative of 2009-2010 in PC gaming, and will be the bar by which games are released over the next 8 years - resulting in more years of poor PC ports (if they're ever ported)09/01/2014 - 5:06pm
Andrew EisenMeanwhile, 6 of Wii U's top 12 are exclusive: Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, and ZombiU. (Wind Waker HD is on the list too but I didn't count it.)09/01/2014 - 4:36pm
Andrew EisenLikewise, only two of Xbox One's top 12 are exclusive: Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome (if you ignore a PC release later this year).09/01/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenNot to disrespect the current gen of consoles but I find it telling that of the "12 Best Games For The PS4" (per Kotaku), only two are exclusive to the system: Infamous: Second Son and Resogun.09/01/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/beyond-two-souls-ps4-trophies-emerge-directors-cut-reported/ MMM MMM, nothing quire like reheated last gen games to make you appreciate the 400 bucks you spent on a new console.09/01/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenThat's actually a super depressing thought, that a bunch of retweeters are taking that pic as an illustration of the actual issue instead of an example of a complete misunderstanding of it.09/01/2014 - 4:20pm
 

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