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Daily news and top headlines for broadband communications engineering and design professionals

House 'Regulatory Accountability Act' Could Hobble FCC

January 14, 2015 1:46 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week, @andrewberg32 | Articles | Comments

The House Tuesday voted in favor of legislation that if passed by the Senate would limit the power of nearly all regulatory agencies, including the FCC. The White House said the President would ultimately veto the bill if it makes it through the Senate.

Investors not alarmed by FCC's regulatory proposals

January 14, 2015 1:40 pm | by Brian Santo, @CEDmagazine | Blogs | Comments

MVPDs remain firmly against Title II reclassification, claiming it would force them to reconsider investment in their networks. If anyone should be alarmed at such claims, it should be investors, but anti-regulatory sentiment might not be quite as fervent among them as might be expected.

Obama pitching more access to fast Internet

January 14, 2015 12:33 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama is once again challenging major cable and telephone companies by encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to pre-empt state laws that stifle competition for high-speed Internet service. Obama wants to expand access to broadband communications services, siding with local communities that want either to expand competition or provide municipal services themselves. 

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Obama: With tech advances come privacy risks

January 13, 2015 12:59 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama proposed strengthening laws against identity theft by requiring notification when consumer information is hacked and protecting students' private data. Obama wants Congress to pass legislation called the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, which would require companies to inform customers within 30 days if their data has been hacked.

Obama wants laws on data hacking, student privacy

January 12, 2015 12:33 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama wants Congress to pass legislation requiring companies to inform customers within 30 days if their data has been hacked, a move that follows high-profile breaches at retailers including Target, Home Depot and Neiman Marcus. A White House official said Obama will announce the proposed legislation Monday, along with a measure aimed at preventing companies from selling student data to third parties.

CES: Wheeler hints at utility-style rules for Internet

January 8, 2015 1:32 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler appears poised to propose new rules that would classify Internet service providers as public utilities in a move designed to ensure everyone has the same access to free content online.Wheeler strongly indicated Wednesday that he favors the shift to tougher regulations, describing it as "just and reasonable" during an appearance in Las Vegas at CES.

CES: FTC chief says consumer privacy a priority

January 7, 2015 12:48 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

While gadget companies are celebrating a coming bonanza of health trackers, connected cars and "smart" home appliances, the head of the FTC is pressing the tech industry to protect consumer privacy. Powerful networks of data sensors and connected devices will collect a vast trove of user information but represent "a deeply personal and startlingly complete picture of each of us," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. 

FCC to vote in Feb. on net neutrality

January 5, 2015 12:46 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal regulators are expected to vote next month on rules to govern how Internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast deal with the flow of content on their high-speed networks. The five-member Federal Communications Commission will consider then a proposal from Chairman Tom Wheeler on so-called net neutrality rules, agency spokeswoman Kim Hart said Friday.

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Cable to FCC: start assessing fees on DBS duo

December 30, 2014 2:05 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The FCC today started taking comments for the next report it will prepare on competition in the satellite market, and the cable industry responded promptly, again requesting that the FCC assess fees on DirecTV and Dish Network commensurate with the fees the FCC levies on every other MVPD.

China cuts access to Gmail

December 30, 2014 11:19 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Chinese access to Google Inc.'s email service has been blocked amid government efforts to limit or possibly ban access to the U.S. company's services, which are popular among Chinese seeking to avoid government monitoring. Data from Google's Transparency Report show online traffic from China to Gmail fell precipitously on Friday and dropped to nearly zero on Saturday, although there was a tiny pickup on Monday.

Defiant Sony will release "The Interview" after all

December 23, 2014 5:38 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

"The Interview" was put back into theaters Thursday when Sony Pictures Entertainment announced a limited theatrical release for the comedy that provoked an international incident with North Korea and outrage over its cancelled release. Sony also is continuing its efforts to release the film on more platforms and in more theaters.

FCC again stops the clock on the Comcast-TWC merger

December 23, 2014 5:32 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

TWC told the FCC that it had withheld the documents on an incorrect claim of attorney-client privilege, according to the agency. TWC should have turned over those documents in September, but did not until earlier this month (December). Furthermore, there are another 30,000 documents that were misplaced due to some unspecified vendor error.

Kentucky begins $250M project to improve "dismal" broadband availability

December 23, 2014 3:37 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The state is getting most of the money from Macquarie Capital. Macquarie has assemble a team including First Solutions, Fujitsu Network Communications, Black & Veatch, and Bowlin Group, to design, develop and operate the private/public network over the next 30 years.

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Regulating online video distributors: Capital Currents

December 22, 2014 4:47 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

Now that the NPRM has been published, we can see the legal and policy problems that it will face. There are many. If OVDs are determined by the FCC to qualify as MVPDs, then it might give them certain program access rights. But MVPDs also face certain obligations. Will these same obligations apply to OVDs?

FCC proposes OTT companies get MVPD status

December 22, 2014 4:37 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The question is coming up with increasing frequency, and cannot be ignored. Sky Angel continues to press its case. More recently, the Supreme Court confused the issue immensely by likening Aereo to an MVPD, even though absolutely nobody else agrees, a conundrum that helped drive Aereo into bankruptcy. 

Title II means $15B in consumer fees? "Baloney"!

December 19, 2014 1:37 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

Communications companies claim that applying Title II regulation to broadband would inevitably lead to up to $15 billion in regulatory fees being passed on to consumers. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, who wrote the Internet Tax Freedom Act, says the claim is "baloney."

Dear Sony: please let us help you screw the terrorists (and give you money in the process)

December 17, 2014 11:28 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

Dear Sony; Please release “The Interview” on demand on the Playstation Network. Between those who actually want to see the movie, and those who want to metaphorically lift a middle finger to terrorists, I think your audience might be as big as all of America.

Comcast hires Vega as director of government affairs, Central Valley

December 17, 2014 12:18 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has hired public affairs veteran Angela Vega as director of government affairs for the Central Valley. Vega, who will be based in Fresno, Calif., will report to Sue Vaccaro, senior director of government Affairs for Comcast California. In her new job, Vega will be responsible for Comcast’s local government affairs and policy issues in Fresno, Madera, Kings, Tulare, and Santa Barbara counties.

FCC approves fee to connect schools, libraries

December 12, 2014 1:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Federal Communications Commission agreed Thursday to dramatically boost spending to bring high-speed Internet access to schools and libraries in poor or rural areas, a move that would likely increase Americans' phone bills by about $2 a year.

FCC ups broadband speed for Connect America

December 12, 2014 1:00 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The FCC has decreed that broadband service providers receiving money from the Connect America Fund must deliver a minimum of 10 Mbps on the downstream, and 1 Mbps on the upstream, up from 4Mbps/1Mpbs. Up to $1.8 billion of funding is currently available each year in the Connect America Fund.

Broadband coverage numbers post-Comcast/TWC released

December 11, 2014 2:00 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

If Comcast is allowed to purchase Time Warner Cable, it will have at least one fixed-line broadband competitor with a roughly comparable 25 Mbps tier in only about a third of its footprint, according to information filed with the FCC. The issue is whether the broadband market is competitive.

Web inventor: Internet should be 'human right'

December 11, 2014 1:14 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The computer scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web says affordable access to the Internet should be recognized as a human right, as a report showed that billions of people still cannot go online and government surveillance and censorship are increasing. Tim Berners-Lee said Thursday the Internet can help tackle inequality — but only if it comes with the rights to privacy and freedom of expression.

FCC open for comments on 13K hotspots from Comcast, TWC

December 11, 2014 1:05 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable and Comcast are preparing to possibly deploy another 13,500 public Wi-Fi hotspots between them. The two require permission from the Federal Communications Commission to do so, and the FCC today began seeking public comments as part of its approval process.

Sweden knocks out Pirate Bay

December 10, 2014 12:49 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Pirate Bay is one of the world's biggest free file-sharing websites offers millions of users a forum for downloading music, movies and computer games. The entertainment industry has failed to shut it down, even after its operators were convicted of copyright violations.

How Do We Get More Kids Into STEM?

December 9, 2014 8:55 pm | by ECN | Videos | Comments

It’s easy to say we need more kids interested in STEM, the challenge comes in finding ways to accomplish it. In this video presentation, engineers discuss what inspired their own engineering journey, what we all can do to further expose kids to the wonders of engineering, and the challenges posed by STEM education.

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