Open Mic: The FCC has recommended striking the “integration ban” portion of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Given the success that Cablevision and Charter have had getting the necessary waivers to sidestep the ban, it’s not unrealistic to hope for a change.
Two Senators have floated an idea for fixing the retransmission consent mess; they are proposing a la carte for broadcast stations. The idea would be that broadcasters who charge too much might find themselves losing viewers and therefore money.
Google is wielding the power of its dominant Internet search engine to push more websites into protecting the people using their services. The move involves a change in Google's closely guarded formula for determining the rankings of its search results. Websites that automatically encrypt their services will now be boosted higher in Google Inc.'s recommendation system.
Following consumer consternation over reports that Verizon is occasionally restricting the access of some of its heaviest users, and after FCC Chairman cautioned the company, Verizon responds that its actions are necessary network management practices to handle network congestion.
TWC is joining a program administered by the DOE to reduce petroleum use within its fleet of more than 20,000 service trucks and vehicles. Participation in the DOE’s Clean Cities’ National Clean Fleet Partnership is part of the company’s “Go Green” initiative.
The NCTC announced a comprehensive multi-year distribution agreement to deliver The Walt Disney Company’s lineup of sports, news and entertainment content to participating NCTC members’ customers across TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and connected devices.
The MSO is offering up to 6 months of complimentary service for any family that has not yet applied for Internet Essentials. Comcast also said it intends to forgive the debt of some families that have subscribed in the past to the Internet Essentials program and still have unpaid balances.
U.S. law enforcement can force Microsoft Corp. to turn over emails it stores in Ireland, a judge ruled in a case that technology companies have rallied around as they pursue billions of dollars in data storage business abroad. U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska ruled from the bench Thursday after hearing oral arguments in Manhattan.
Comcast has canceled a promotional event at the home of a Kansas state senator. The cable company announced the open house in a recent news release that paired Republican Sen. Julia Lynn of Olathe and promotional language about its home security service.
The U.S. House of Representatives has reauthorized STELA. The cable industry had hoped to tack on provisions to reform retransmission consent rules, but the House declined. But the House did include language to end separable security requirements. In other words, the House has agreed to let the loathed CableCard die.
A group of over two dozen of the largest Internet companies, including eBay, Netflix and Facebook, are urging the FCC to refrain from Net Neutrality policies that would create so-called slow lanes and fast lanes. The companies also argued that the Commission treat fixed and wireless broadband providers in the same manner.
Charter Communications has beefed up its policy presence in Washington D.C. with the recent addition of Christianna Lewis Barnhart, who joined the company as vice president, regulatory affairs. Barnhart, who started her new job today, now reports to Alex Hoehn-Saric, senior vice president, government affairs.
Amazon is asking the Federal Aviation Administration permission to use drones as part of its plan to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less. The online retailer created a media frenzy in December when it outlined a plan on CBS' "60 Minutes" to deliver packages with self-guided aircrafts that seemed straight out of science fiction.
Aereo, the television-over-the-Internet service that suspended operations after the Supreme Court ruled against it, is refusing to disband for good. The company is now using the Supreme Court's own language to force broadcasters to treat it just like a cable TV company. In Aereo's view, that means broadcasters must license their signals to Aereo under a 1976 copyright law.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced the members of the panel that will review two proposed mega-mergers: Comcast / Time Warner Cable / Charter, and AT&T / DirecTV. Those who watch such things infer from the choice of panelists that the FCC is not going to simply rubber-stamp either deal.
Following a major upgrade in its network in McDowell County, West Virginia, Shentel said it is supporting a program that is distributing laptops to local students with discounted broadband access. The company is providing an Internet package for $10 per month to 3,400 qualifying students in the county.
The National Security Agency programs that collect huge volumes of Internet data within the United States are constitutional and employ "reasonable" safeguards designed to protect the rights of Americans, an independent privacy and civil liberties board has found. In a report released Tuesday night, the bipartisan, five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board largely endorsed a set of NSA surveillance programs.
After the Supreme Court ruled against its over-the-air video service last week, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia is trying to kicks start a grass roots effort by asking the company’s subscribers to contact their lawmakers. Broadcasters had sued Aereo over its service that relied on cloud DVR and antennas to capture over-the-air video signals and deliver them to its customers.
Charter Communications has broadened its outreach to the nation’s military veterans through a new partnership with Recruit Military. Recruit Military is a full-service military-to-civilian recruiting firm for all branches and ranks of the armed forces. Its services are provided for free to veterans.
The Supreme Court has declined to hear Google's appeal of a ruling that it pried into people's online lives through their Wi-Fi systems as part of its drive to collect information for its Street View mapping project. The justices did not comment Monday in leaving in place a ruling that Google employees violated the federal wiretap law when they rolled through residential streets with car cameras to shoot photos for Street View.
Another thing the average viewer doesn’t get is that Aereo and its approach was a hedge against rising cable costs. Retrans fees are going to keep going up. Cable fees are going to keep going up. That’s a win for broadcasters, but for no one else. It’s a clear loss for viewers, larger than most realize.
Although the Supreme Court expressed its thinking on the law, it's the lower court that must issue a preliminary injunction stopping the service, as requested by broadcasters. That could take a few weeks. It's not guaranteed that the lower court will halt Aereo's operations, but it's very likely.
The German government is ending a contract with Verizon over fears the company could be letting U.S. intelligence agencies eavesdrop on sensitive communications, officials said Thursday. The New York-based company has for years provided Internet services to a number of government departments, although not to German security agencies, said Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate.
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a startup Internet company has to pay broadcasters when it takes television programs from the airwaves and allows subscribers to watch them on smartphones and other portable devices. The ruling preserves the ability of the television networks to collect huge fees from cable and satellite systems that transmit their programming.
AT&T plans to bring broadband access to customers in 48 states, with 80 percent of the locations outside of the company’s wireline footprint. Using “fixed wireless” that combines dedicated spectrum and professional installation. The combined companies will be able to offer 15-20 Mbps home broadband to customers as part of a package or as a standalone service.