FCC: 119 Million Americans Lack Access to Broadband

August 22, 2012 -

Of the estimated 314 million Americans, 119 million have no access to broadband connections. A new report by the Federal Communications Commission reveals that an estimated 19 million Americans have no option to buy or access to broadband Internet service. An estimated 100 million Americans that do live in areas that offer broadband are not subscribers.

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Rights Groups Say AT&T's New Policy for FaceTime Violates Net Neutrality Rules

August 21, 2012 -

Two internet rights groups have cried foul on AT&T's plans for the video chat application FaceTime. The groups say that the iPhone app will violate net neutrality rules put in place by the Federal Communications Commission in late 2011. AT&T announced last week that it would only allow consumers to use the app on its 3G network if they subscribe to new shared data plans. Those subscribers who use the old individual data plans would only be allowed to use it via Wi-Fi networks.

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Verizon Wireless Fined by FCC for Blocking Tethering Apps on 4G Network

August 3, 2012 -

Earlier this week the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined Verizon Wireless $1.25 million for limiting its customers’ use of applications on its 4G network. In 2011, Free Press filed a formal complaint with the FCC against Verizon after reports indicated that Verizon had allegedly urged Google to remove some apps from its Android Market. These apps allowed Verizon subscribers to use tethering. Before these apps were available customers spent as much as $30 extra a month to tether.

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Public Knowledge Files Petition with FCC Protesting Comcast Content Discrimination, Data Capping

August 1, 2012 -

Internet advocacy group Public Knowledge has filed a formal petition asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to look into Comcast's violation of the agreement it signed when it merged with NBC Universal, according to an Ars Technica report. The group argues that Comcast gives preferential treatment to its own video services over other video services on the Internet by not having its usage count against customer data caps.

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Free Press Quietly Drops Legal Challenge to FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

July 10, 2012 -

Advocacy group Free Press has quietly dropped its legal challenge to the FCC's net neutrality rules, according to a report in BroadCastingCable.com. Unlike Verizon and MetroPCS who want to see the rules eliminated, the Free Press legal challenge went in the opposite direction noting that the new rules were not strong enough. Free Press's legal brief in the case was due on July 2 but Free Press quietly let that deadline pass.

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FCC Forms Open Internet Advisory Committee

May 29, 2012 -

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has formed an "Open Internet" committee to evaluate the agency's net neutrality rules. The committee was part of the rules that the FCC passed in late 2010 and later implemented in 2011. 

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Advocacy Groups Take FCC Chairman to Task for 'Data Cap Endorsement'

May 23, 2012 -

Online advocacy groups Public Knowledge and Free Press are taking Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski to task for comments he made earlier this week that seemed to indicate an "endorsement" of data caps, by calling them a legitimate business practice.

"There was a point of view a couple of years ago that there was only one permissible pricing model for broadband. I didn’t agree," Genachowski said during a question and answer session with National Cable and Telecommunications Association CEO Michael Powell.

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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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Shout box

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james_fudgewell I hope he called the police so they can let us all know.09/21/2014 - 9:07am
quiknkoldIt's pretty gnarly. Depending on what it is, it could be worse than white powder or a fake bomb.09/21/2014 - 9:06am
james_fudgeI just looked it up on UPS.com09/21/2014 - 8:56am
james_fudgeand expensive for an American to ship to London.09/21/2014 - 8:55am
E. Zachary KnightThat is pretty scary. Would have been worse if it were a fake bomb or white powder.09/21/2014 - 8:49am
quiknkoldThere's some more tweets regarding it with more pictures09/21/2014 - 8:09am
quiknkoldMilo Yiannopoulos was mailed a syringe filled with clear liquid. He claims it's anti gamergate harassment. Mentioned on his twitter twitter.com/Nero/status/51366668391625523209/21/2014 - 8:07am
Andrew EisenNow, having said that, what sites are you reading that are claiming that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem" or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"? Or was that hyperbole too?09/21/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenFirst of all, ONE person in the Shout box suggested an obligation to call harassers out on their harassing but only after YOU brought it up. Plus, Techno said "when you see it happening." If you don't see it, you're not under any obligation.09/21/2014 - 1:02am
Sleaker@Craig R. - at this point I don't even know what the hashtags are suppsed to be in support of. what does GamerGate actually signify.09/21/2014 - 12:21am
Sleaker@AE - Hyperbole for the first 2, but it seems like some of the comments in the shout are attempting to place blame on fellow gamers because they aren't actively telling people to stop harassing even though they don't necessarily know anyone that has.09/21/2014 - 12:16am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Who the heck are you reading that is claiming "all gamers are bad," we "need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers," that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem," or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"?09/20/2014 - 9:44pm
erthwjimhe swatted more than just krebs, I think he swatted 30 people http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/05/teen-arrested-for-30-swattings-bomb-threats/09/20/2014 - 9:31pm
Craig R.Btw, the guy who swatted security expert Brian Krebs? He got picked up recently. It can be done.09/20/2014 - 8:55pm
Craig R.Such things are not done in a vacuum... hence why the 4chan and other logs show what fools you've all been, tricked into doing the trolls' work09/20/2014 - 8:49pm
Sleaker@Technogeek - How do you call someone out that anonymously calls in a SWAT team, or sends threats to people?09/20/2014 - 7:04pm
Technogeek"It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so." I'd say you're certainly obligated to call them out when you see it happening.09/20/2014 - 5:17pm
SleakerNow if you disagree with anything in my last 2 posts then we obviously have a difference in world view, and wont come to any sort of agreement. I'm fine with that, maybe some people aren't?09/20/2014 - 5:09pm
SleakerIt also doesn't mean that just because a news outlet says that Gamers are the problem and you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem. It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so.09/20/2014 - 4:59pm
SleakerJust to re-iterate: People getting harassed is wrong. Just because someone is harassed by so called 'gamers' doesn't mean that all gamers are bad. nor does it mean that you need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers.09/20/2014 - 4:56pm
 

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