FCC Opens Public Comments On State Laws Banning Municipal Broadband Operations

July 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said last month that, given the chance, he would take the opportunity to closely examine state laws that prevent communities from owning their own broadband. Now with two complaints filed with the FCC from North Carolina and Kentucky, the FCC has decided to ask the public what it should do with a public comment period.

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FCC Petitioned Over State Laws That Prohibit Broadband Networks Run by Municipalities

July 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received two petitions this week asking the federal agency to overturn state laws that specifically limit or ban broadband built and operated by municipalities. One of the petitions is from the city of Wilson, North Carolina and the other from the EPB of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In June FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that something had to be done about these kinds of laws; there are currently 20 states that have passed laws limiting or prohibiting broadband networks run by cities and towns.

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Ofcom Makes Switching Broadband Fiber Providers in the UK Cheaper and Easier

June 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

New guidelines from Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) will make switching from one superfast broadband supplier to another less expensive. Prior to changes in the rules, when a consumer switched from BT's Openreach (the company that controls BT's phone and broadband infrastructure) the new ISP would be hit with a £50 connection fee. This fee was typically passed on to the consumer.

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FCC Considers Preempting or Banning State Laws That Restrict Community Broadband Initiatives

June 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says that state laws seeking to stop community-run broadband initiatives have to be dealt with, but he has not said how the agency plans to take on the thorny issue. In at least 20 states there are already legal restriction in place to thwart municipal broadband networks. Many of these laws or regulations were put in place with the help of campaign cash from ISPs, telecom companies (both regional and national) and trade groups representing these industries.

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AT&T Plans to Expand Fiber Infrastructure if DirecTV Merger Approved

June 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

AT&T says that it would be happy to expand its broadband fiber infrastructure throughout the country... if the government agencies like the FCC and the Justice Department approve its proposed merger with satellite TV provider DirecTV. AT&T recently name checked 100 municipalities in 21 metropolitan areas where it "might" bring its fiber-to-the-home network, GigaPower service. The company did not say just how many customers might be served under this attentive plan to expand its network. The service offers up to 1Gbps download speeds.

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Kansas Bill Seeking to Ban Cities and Towns From Building Broadband Networks Dies on the Vine

February 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Last month the lobbying group for various broadband providers that do business in the state of Kansas tried to ram a bill through the state legislature that would ban municipalities and towns from building their own broadband infrastructure. Today we have learned the fate of that effort via Ars Technica, and its good news for communities in the state that are desperate to have access to a decent broadband network.

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San Francisco Rolls Out Three Miles of Free Wi-Fi Access

December 17, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

After AT&T failed to deliver on a deal to bring Wi-Fi to San Francisco's Market Street - the busiest and most economically diverse area of the metropolis, according to city leaders - local politicians took matters into their own hands.

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FCC Puts Five-Month Moratorium on AT&T 'Special Access' Rate Hike Plan

December 10, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has put the brakes on a plan by AT&T to raise prices for "special access" customers, which could have led to a rate hike to businesses and cell phone users. AT&T had planned to make that hike happen today, but the FCC stepped in and suspended the action for five months while it conducts an investigation on the matter.

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FCC Rolls Out Broadband Speed Test App

November 14, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is rolling out a broadband speed test app for Android phones beginning this week, with plans for an iOS version sometime later down the road. The app was announced at the Nov. 14 meeting, which was the first under the agency's new chairman Tom Wheeler.

"If we are going to be making fact-based decisions, we need facts," said Wheeler, "and you are enlisting the American people for those facts."

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Bill Gates: Google's 'Loon' Project Won't Help Children Dying from Malaria

August 8, 2013 -

Before Google's Loon initiative brings internet access to remote regions in places like Africa, Microsoft founder and former front man Bill Gates thinks people should be more concerned about the diseases that kill children in poorer nations around the world.

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Colorado Telecoms Rail Against Rural Broadband Bill

May 7, 2013 -

The Denver Post has an interesting story on Colorado Senate Bill 287, which was introduced Monday and passed out of committee on Wednesday. Apparently this "bipartisan effort" to "connect rural Colorado to broadband Internet service" scares the hell out of Colorado carriers and technology companies in the State.

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Proposal for 30Mbps Broadband to Everyone in the EU by 2020

March 26, 2013 -

Under a new proposal put forward this week as part of the European Union’s Digital Agenda for Europe, all member states would offer a minimum level of 30Mbps broadband to everybody by the year 2020. One of the roadblocks to this lofty goal seems to be a lack of funding; last month over $9 billion earmarked for broadband deployment was cut from the EU budget. Despite this major setback, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes is still pushing for hitting that 2020 target.

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FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Resigns

March 22, 2013 -

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) confirmed a story that had been circulating the internet over the last 24 hours: that Chairman Julius Genachowski will be leaving his position "in the coming weeks." Genachowski pushed hard for universal broadband and net neutrality but with limited success.

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Time Warner Cable: No Consumer Demand for Fiber Gigabit Internet

March 1, 2013 -

If you need a laugh to end your Friday on then this story over at The Verge will probably do the trick. In it a Time Warner Cable executive responded to a question about Google's impressive broadband speeds on its new Kansas City broadband fiber network by saying that its customers don't want the blazingly fast speeds that a gigabit internet could provide. Wait, what?

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How Georgia Lawmakers Are Working to Keep its Citizens' Broadband Connections From Improving

February 13, 2013 -

If a town or city wants to have their own broadband infrastructure, they should be able to build it as long as it doesn't cost the state it is in taxpayer dollars. But there's a quiet movement - a greasing of the wheels, if you like - to put a stop to that by telcos and low-end broadband providers that rely on old infrastructure. The latest state to try and legislate limits on what towns and cities can do to improve broadband is in Georgia, where state lawmakers have introduced Georgia House Bill 282, or "the Municipal Broadband Investment Act."

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German High Court Ruling: Internet is an Integral Part of Modern Life

January 28, 2013 -

Germany's highest court has ruled that Internet is such an important part of modern everyday life that when someone gets cut off from it they deserve some sort of compensation. The German high court made this determination based on a case involving a German citizen who was disconnected from his DSL line in 2008 because of some unspecified technical error. The citizen was offline for two months and he was angry enough about it to sue the ISP for his expenses (he used his mobile phone instead of his wireline VoIP service) as well as €50 ($67) per day because he had no connection.

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January 18th: Internet Freedom Day

January 18, 2013 -

On January 18, 2012 something amazing happened: the Internet community, advocacy groups, internet personalities, popular websites, and even some brave politicians banded together to send a message to lawmakers and special interests that backed the poorly crafted SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) legislation.

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United Nations Plans PR Offensive to Deal with Worldwide Protests of Proposed Internet Regulations

November 27, 2012 -

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations committee that oversees global telecommunications treaties and laws will meet in Dubai from December 3-14. The organization is already taking heat for some of the proposals it wants to push that seem to limit free speech and take control away from the independent organizations (based in the U.S.) that handle the everyday workings of the Internet.

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Comcast Lobbyist Admits Using 'Internet for Poor' Program as Leverage to Influence NBC Universal-Comcast Merger

November 1, 2012 -

The lead lobbyist for Comcast freely admits that he used the promise of a new low-cost internet service for poor people as leverage against the FCC when the company was seeking to merge with NBC Universal in 2009. The news comes from a Washington Post profile DC lobbyist David Cohen, who has led Comcast's policy and lobbying efforts in the capital for over a decade.

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Ian Livingstone to Broadband Providers: You're Holding the Games Industry Back

October 18, 2012 -

Speaking at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam on Wednesday, Eidos Life President Ian Livingstone said that broadband bottlenecks around the world are slowing down the game industry's transition from the physical to the digital world, and urged telecommunications companies to build more broadband infrastructure.

"What we need is super-speed broadband,″ said Livingstone. "You're kind of holding us back in many respects."

Putting a Cap on It: Which Broadband Providers Cap Customers

October 2, 2012 -

Is your broadband service provider throttling your connection because you hit a data cap or are you just being paranoid and unreasonable when your connection's bandwidth seems to slow down dramatically? According to this GIGA OM report, more than 64 percent of broadband subscribers in the U.S. have a cap on data usage.

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The Reddit Declaration of Internet Freedom Bus Tour Begins in Early October

September 27, 2012 -

The Declaration of Internet Freedom may not be getting as much national attention as it should from the mainstream media (despite several members of Congress and the Senate strongly and publicly supporting it), but Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian (who also had a hand in helping draft the document) has some plans to get it noticed by the general public.

FCC Chairman: Agency Must Police Broadband Competition

September 26, 2012 -

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has to do more to police and ensure mobile and broadband competition across the country, said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in a speech earlier this week.

He also said that the agency must resist calls for various corners of government and the private sector to eliminate or phase out regulation of broadband and mobile carriers.

"Competition is the lifeblood of our free-market economy, driving private investment, innovation and consumer value," he said. "The more competition, the less need for regulation."

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FCC Backs Off Broadband Internet Tax Proposal

September 10, 2012 -

The Federal Communications Commission has started backpedaling after a loud and public outcry from rights groups and netizens about their proposal to tax broadband Internet services. Democrat and Republican commissioners at the agency are now pointing fingers at each other for bringing up the hot-button issue in the first place.

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An Analysis of Google's Kansas City Fiber Deal

September 7, 2012 -

Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai thinks that the Google Fiber in Kansas City is the cat's pajamas, calling it a model for other metropolitan areas to follow. He says the deal shows that "it is critically important that states and local communities adopt broadband-friendly policies when it comes to rights-of-way management."

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FCC to Regularly Report on Mobile Broadband Speeds

September 5, 2012 -

The Federal Communications Commission announced today that it will start monitoring and reporting on mobile broadband speeds across the country. The FCC said that it will begin a review process of mobile networks in the U.S. with a meeting on Sept. 21. The end goal is to provide consumers with a report card for those networks. The new effort is part of the FCC’s overall National Broadband Plan, and has gained support from both major wireless carriers and the CTIA.

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Ireland Wants Minimum Broadband Speeds of 30Mbps

August 31, 2012 -

While America continues to flounder when it comes to broadband connection speeds, politicians in Ireland are doing everything they can to make things better for its citizens. According to this Ars Technica report, Ireland's Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte has outlined a new broadband plan for Ireland that calls for a "minimum of 30Mbps for every remaining home and business in the country—no matter how rural or remote."

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Free Press Fights FCC's 'Broadband Tax' Plan

August 30, 2012 -

In an editorial on Ars Technica internet advocacy group Free Press described the FCC's move to tax broadband as a way to fund broadband infrastructure growth in the U.S. as misguided. Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner says that the proposed $1 - $5 tax on customers would ultimately be turned over to companies like AT&T who have been slowly pulling out of the broadband business anyway.

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FCC Seeks Public Comment on Broadband Speeds and Data Caps

August 24, 2012 -

The FCC issued a notice of inquiry this week asking the general public about what constitutes a reasonable data cap and what speed constitutes a "broadband connection." The agency is doing some soul searching and may want to change the definitions on these issues. If data capping and broadband connection speeds are important to you, then this is a golden opportunity to give the agency you opinion and possibly have an effect on future policy.

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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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E. Zachary KnightGot that same recommendation on Twitter. So I guess that is a good sign.09/15/2014 - 8:39pm
prh99Portlandia, though I don't watch a lot of sitcoms. Heard it was good though.09/15/2014 - 8:02pm
E. Zachary KnightSitcom recommendations for someone who like Parks and Rec but hates The Office: Go.09/15/2014 - 6:08pm
NeenekoEven if they do change their policy, they can only do it moving forward and I could see the mod/pack community simply branching.09/15/2014 - 12:50pm
Michael ChandraAs for take the money and run, the guy must have a networth of 8~9 digits already.09/15/2014 - 10:33am
Michael ChandraMe, I'm more betting on some form of mod API where servers must run donations/payments through them and they take a cut.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraEspecially since they want it for promoting their phones. Killing user interest is the dumbest move to make.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraGiven how the EULA actively allows for LPs, I'm not sure Microsoft is ready for the backlash of disallowing that.09/15/2014 - 10:31am
Matthew Wilsonthey wont do that, the backlash would be too big.09/15/2014 - 10:25am
ConsterSleaker: how is that a flipside? Sounds to me like that's basically what Notch himself said, except rudely.09/15/2014 - 10:18am
MaskedPixelanteOn the plus side, no more lazy Minecraft LPs, since iirc Microsoft has a strict "no monetization period" policy when it comes to their stuff.09/15/2014 - 10:13am
james_fudgeBut it continues to sell on every platform it is on, so there's that09/15/2014 - 10:09am
james_fudgeOh, well that's another matter :)09/15/2014 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightNothing against Notch here. I think it is great that he made something so cool. I just can't understand how it is worth $2.5 bil09/15/2014 - 9:59am
InfophileWhat a world we live in: Becoming a billionaire was the easy way out for Notch.09/15/2014 - 9:42am
james_fudgelots of hate for Notch here. I don't get it. Sorry he made a game everyone loved. What a monster he is!09/15/2014 - 9:37am
SleakerOn the flipside, Notch has been a horrible CEO for Mojang, and the company has grown on sheer inertia, DESPITE being mishandled over and over.09/15/2014 - 9:33am
SleakerI can understand Notch's statements he made to Kotaku about growing bigger than he intended, and getting hate for EULA changes he didn't enact.09/15/2014 - 9:32am
MaskedPixelantehttp://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM Notch's statement about the MS acquisition. He wanted out for a long time and this was the easiest way.09/15/2014 - 9:08am
ConsterEh, I can't blame him.09/15/2014 - 9:01am
 

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