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.
The antitrust lawsuit filed by Cablevision against Viacom is moving ahead, despite Viacom’s effort to get it dismissed. Should the suit continue, and be decided in Cablevision’s favor, it would set a precedent restricting the ability of programmers to force MVPDs to accept bundles of ancillary – and usually unwanted – content in order to get access to premium channels.
Senator Patrick Leahy and Congresswoman Doris Matsui have introduced bicameral legislation to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ban paid prioritization agreements between a broadband provider and a content provider.
According to a new opinion poll released this morning by the Consumer Reports National Resource Center, most citizens are against the proposed coupling of Time Warner Cable and Comcast. The poll showed that 11 percent of the public supported the merger, 56 percent opposed it and 32 percent had no opinion either way.
Wheeler for the first time made a clear distinction between ISP networks and activity on the open Internet governed by peering agreements. Consumers expect good service, he said, and peering activity affects that. He has directed the FCC to start collecting information on peering agreements.
The non-profit organization Connected Nation has signed on to administer the selection process for AT&T’s $100 million commitment to provide free mobile broadband Internet access to select middle and high school students in Title 1 schools across the country.
Special Report from Genband’s Perspectives conference: The acceleration of broadband usage is affecting telcos in the same way it's affecting cable network operators: energy consumption will outstrip the ability of current infrastructure to handle it all. Telcos will have to rethink their networks in much the same way MSOs are with CCAP and other measures.
John Oliver’s rant about network neutrality early this week was impassioned, entertaining, and, in the end, completely wrong about what network neutrality is and how it works. But that may well end up being irrelevant for a couple of reasons.
One of the world's largest cellphone companies on Friday revealed the scope of government snooping into phone networks, saying authorities in some countries are able to directly access its network without seeking permission.
Comcast has been beta testing Transport Security Layer (TSL) encryption for email and plans on rolling it out for Gmail users over the coming weeks. A Comcast spokesman said that the beta testing took place with some large Internet websites and some smaller ISPs.
In an attempt to curry favor with regulators, AT&T Inc. said Tuesday that if it's allowed to buy satellite broadcaster DirecTV, it will be able to afford an expansion of fiber connections into more homes to boost their Internet connection speeds. Expanding broadband access and raising speeds is a federal policy goal, so AT&T's offer could interest regulators at the Federal Communications Commission.
A unanimous Supreme Court ruled that a company is not liable for inducing patent infringement if someone other than the company carries out some of the steps leading to infringement. That case plus a decision in another case put limits on so-called patent trolls.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has threatened Title II should communications service providers fail to accede to whatever the new network neutrality rules are. Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) introduced legislation that would explicitly bar the FCC from applying Title II of the Communications Act to broadband.
The town of Rock Hill, S.C., is working with Comporium to upgrade the area’s communications network to support data rates up to 1 Gbps. Comporium will deploy networking equipment from Adtran to create the service. The parties involved hope to attract businesses spur economic growth by becoming one of the only Gigabit communities in the region.
A federal appeals court is rejecting challenges to the FCC's plan to expand broadband Internet service to rural areas. The expansion is funded partly by fees paid by telecommunications companies. Many of those companies contended the FCC did not have the authority to use the money for Internet service.