5G Explained

5G is coming: everything you need to know

By on June 20, 2016 at 6:50 PM.

5G is coming: everything you need to know

Even though I’m still fighting to get 4G cell coverage at home, the industry is already looking to the Next Big Thing: 5G. The FCC will be meeting next month to vote on new regulations for 5G, laying the groundwork for the next evolution in wireless communications.

5G is meant to be about more than just faster Netflix videos when you’re on the train. It’s going to be the mobile network to link the long-promised Internet of Things, making autonomous cars talk to each other, and your fridge tweet your feelings non-stop.

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Federal Communications Commission Consumer Broadband Labels

FCC unveils a simple way to see if your ISP is giving you a raw deal

By on April 4, 2016 at 5:50 PM.

FCC unveils a simple way to see if your ISP is giving you a raw deal

So you’ve signed up for a new Internet service and it seems like it’s a great deal… but that’s before you consider things like data caps and sneaky fees. The Federal Communications Commission knows that paying for Internet services can be a frustrating experience for many consumers, which is why it’s come out with new “nutrition labels” for consumer broadband services that offer details about ISPs’ prices, their policies on data caps, their assorted fees and more. More →

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Verizon Supercookie Fine

Verizon gets tiny FCC fine for secretly tracking subscribers with no way to opt out

By on March 8, 2016 at 8:52 AM.

Verizon gets tiny FCC fine for secretly tracking subscribers with no way to opt out

How much is your privacy worth to the Federal Communications Commission? Not quite as much as it is undoubtedly worth to you. Back in 2014, it was discovered that Verizon Wireless was found to be using a technology called “supercookies” to secretly track customers and then use the data collected to enhance its offering to advertisers. These special cookies tracked every single unencrypted website a user visited on his or her mobile device, and here’s the best part: It was initially impossible to opt out of this invasive tracking technique.

Once uncovered, Verizon took plenty of heat in the press. But like all things on the Internet, people eventually forgot all about it. Now, however, we just got a brief reminder because the FCC just slapped Verizon with a little fine and put in place a few rules for the use of supercookies. More →

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Comcast Customers FCC Data Cap Complaints

Fed-up customers are hammering ISPs with FCC complaints about data caps

By on August 1, 2015 at 9:30 AM.

Fed-up customers are hammering ISPs with FCC complaints about data caps

You know what people really don’t like? Data caps. They don’t like them on their mobile phones and they really, really don’t like them on their home Internet services. This hasn’t stopped Comcast and other wireline ISPs from trying to ram them down consumers’ throats anyway, although customer resistance to such caps is so strong that the companies wouldn’t dare roll them out nationwide just yet. More →

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FCC Commissioner Speech

WTF of the Week: FCC Commissioner Says People Don’t Need the Internet

By on July 1, 2015 at 9:35 AM.

WTF of the Week: FCC Commissioner Says People Don’t Need the Internet

The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government with the sole purpose of regulating cable, satellite, radio and television, as well as wired and wireless communications. According to the commissioner of the FCC, that role does not include ensuring that all Americans have access to the Internet. More →

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How To Lower Your Cable Bill FCC

How to Lower Your Cable Bill with Help from the FCC

By on June 24, 2015 at 10:00 PM.

How to Lower Your Cable Bill with Help from the FCC

A few things are certain in life: Death, taxes and monthly cable bills that keep going up. However, Ars Technica has found that filing formal complaints about cable prices with the Federal Communications Commission is a surprisingly effective way to get your bill slashed. More →

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FCC Net Neutrality Vote

FCC vote: Net neutrality saved, ISPs will be reclassified as utilities

By on February 26, 2015 at 1:01 PM.

FCC vote: Net neutrality saved, ISPs will be reclassified as utilities

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday enacted its most sweeping change to telecom regulation in years by voting 3-2 to reclassify Internet service providers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, thus giving the commission the power to enforce net neutrality rules. More →

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FCC Municipal Broadband Vote

FCC votes to override state laws that block municipal broadband deployments

By on February 26, 2015 at 11:28 AM.

FCC votes to override state laws that block municipal broadband deployments

Big news for anyone who’s ever had their town’s municipal broadband network blocked by state legislatures: The Federal Communications Commission has your back. The FCC on Thursday voted 3-2 in favor of a measure that would prohibit state legislatures from barring municipalities from building out their own broadband networks. Several state legislatures in recent years have adopted such policies at the behest of incumbent telecom companies that don’t want to deal with added competition from cities who want to build out their own networks. More →

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Net Neutrality Title II Loophole

The FCC’s new net neutrality proposal everyone is so excited about may have a huge loophole

By on February 5, 2015 at 9:05 AM.

The FCC’s new net neutrality proposal everyone is so excited about may have a huge loophole

We won. The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday took a huge step toward realizing web users’ dream of a truly free Internet; an Internet where net neutrality is real and service providers are barred from boosting their bottom lines by allowing big corporations to pay for priority pipelines. The Commission announced a new proposal that would see broadband Internet service reclassified as a utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

Even a few short weeks ago, it seemed impossible that we would even get this far… but it looks like there is a pretty serious loophole in the new proposal that could be a big roadblock for net neutrality down the line. More →

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FCC Net Neutrality Proposal

Verizon’s net neutrality nightmare is about to come true

By on February 2, 2015 at 4:10 PM.

Verizon’s net neutrality nightmare is about to come true

Verizon’s lawsuit against earlier net neutrality rules is about to backfire in a spectacular fashion. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Federal Communications Commission will propose new net neutrality rules that will reclassify ISPs under Title II of the Telecommunications Act and thus open them up to being regulated more like utilities. More →

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Comcast Broadband

Comcast just got a major ego boost from the FCC

By on January 30, 2015 at 6:00 PM.

Comcast just got a major ego boost from the FCC

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted in favor of a new standard for broadband Internet. From now on, anything less than 25Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream is no longer considered broadband — but there has been one unexpected (and perhaps unwanted) victor as result.

As of January 29th, Comcast’s broadband market share is now greater than 50%. More →

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Opinions
FCC Broadband Vote 25Mbps

FCC commissioner makes the most boneheaded argument against raising broadband standards

By on January 29, 2015 at 1:30 PM.

FCC commissioner makes the most boneheaded argument against raising broadband standards

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to raise the standards of what constitutes broadband from any service that offers download speeds of 4Mbps or higher to any service that offers download speeds of 25Mbps or higher. ISPs were obviously not happy with this vote since it means that a lot of their service offerings — particularly AT&T and Verizon’s DSL networks — no longer count as broadband services. More →

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