As a diehard Batman fan, T-Mobile CEO John Legere will appreciate this simile: Right now T-Mobile reminds me a little bit of the Joker in the first Tim Burton Batman movie tossing out free money to the people of Gotham only so he can hit them with poison gas once they’re all gathered in one place. OK, so I obviously don’t think Legere and company are literally evil and planning to gas us all. But I’ve spent a day thinking through the implications of the “Un-carrier’s” new “Binge On” move and I find myself feeling a real sense of unease about the whole thing. Basically, I think that Binge On sounds like a great deal that could also incur some serious trade offs that will make the web less open that it is today. More →
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush — or just “Jeb!” as he’s called in his campaign signs — probably won’t win the endorsement of the Electronic Frontier Foundation given his positions on tech policy. In fact, we can’t imagine many Silicon Valley types are pleased with Jeb’s latest declarations this week that as president he’ll kill net neutrality rules while at the same time bulking up the data collection powers of the National Security Agency. More →
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 →
Remember back in late May when we told you about the Internet Health Test? The simple test analyzed users’ Internet connections from end to end, and it aimed to determine whether or not Internet service providers might be violating the Federal Communication Commission’s new net neutrality rules by intentionally slowing data connections.
This week, the group behind the Internet Health Test has released the results of a study that analyzed tests performed by more than 300,000 Internet users, and it appears as though the test has served its purpose: Five major ISPs in the United States have been accused of deliberately slowing data from popular websites in dozens of cities across the country. More →
Who knew when a former top cable industry lobbyist took the helm at the Federal Communications Commission that it would lead to this much positive change for consumers? The FCC’s much-lauded new net neutrality rules took effect this past Friday, and we’re already seeing the effects they’re having on the Internet. The new rules aim to prevent ISPs from implementing anti-consumer schemes like paid traffic prioritization, data blocking and bandwidth throttling, and there is already a major shift taking place in the industry.
On Wednesday, the FCC levied a massive $100 million fine against AT&T for throttling users’ unlimited wireless data. Now, news that Sprint has shelved its data-throttling policy marks yet another win for wireless customers in the United States. More →
The Federal Communications Commission surprised us all earlier this year when it put forth new net neutrality guidelines that were hugely pro-consumer. Yes, there may be a loophole or two. And yes, some internet service providers are already looking for different ways to hurt subscribers that don’t violate net neutrality. In the current climate, however, we’re not sure a more favorable set of rules could have been crafted by the FCC and its former cable lobbyist boss, Tom Wheeler.
Of course, creating better net neutrality guidelines is one thing — but policing ISPs and ensuring they adhere to the new rules is an entirely different can of worms. More →
I’ve had conversations in the past with people from Europe who just don’t understand why America needs to have network neutrality restrictions. Their argument is that if one of the ISPs in their country tried to throttle Netflix to make its own other-the-top video service run faster, people would flee to a rival ISP and thus put them out of business. It’s at this point that I laugh at them and say, “What I wouldn’t give to have even two choices for broadband services!” More →
The Federal Communications Commission’s new net neutrality rules ensure that Verizon won’t be able to intentionally slow down competitors’ video streaming services in the name of speeding up its own offerings. However, Verizon has shown itself to be nothing if not creative over the years and a new report from Investor’s Business Daily claims that the carrier is working on a sneaky plan to undermine net neutrality that may not even run afoul of the FCC’s regulations. More →
You just can’t please everyone… The Federal Communications Commission issued its final net neutrality rules earlier this week, and some people still can’t believe that the Commission issued a proposal that is so consumer-friendly. Under FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal, Internet service will be reclassified as a utility and prevent some of the biggest threats to the free Internet, including paid traffic prioritization, data blocking and bandwidth throttling.
Google has been a pretty consistent advocate for net neutrality in the United States but it apparently doesn’t feel the need to be as strong a supporter in other countries. The Information has a new report out detailing how Google plans to make mobile data in emerging markets cheaper for consumers by picking up the data consumption tab for things like app updates… but only for its own apps and the apps of special partners. More →
Rival ISPs’ legal teams will probably pull their hair out when they see what Sprint just did to their arguments against net neutrality. Speaking with Reuters, Sprint CTO Stephen Bye says that not only will the FCC’s net neutrality plan not affect his company’s network investment plans but he also goes so far as to say net neutrality is a positive for Sprint’s customers. More →
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 →
It looks like Tom Wheeler isn’t the dingo that many of us feared. In a new article at Wired, Wheeler outlines his plan to enforce net neutrality rules by doing something that was once unthinkable: Reclassifying broadband services as utilities under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. More →