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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has unanimously approved an inquiry into 5G technology. The investigation will seek to determine if high-frequency airwaves previously considered to be unusable may in fact revolutionize mobile technology.
“We are moving from networks designed for analog voice to networks designed for high-speed digital data,” said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. “So how do we meet these demands? We look up. Way, way, up. To infinity and beyond.”
Frequencies higher than 24 gigahertz have gone unused in the past, as they could not handle cell phone signals. These frequencies cannot carry signals over long distances and are easily stopped by barriers, but companies are currently developing new technologies which could make these frequencies usable. If reliable technology is developed, these frequencies could handle data as fast as 10 gigabits per second.
Google has asked the FCC for permission to begin testing extremely high frequencies, which could eventually be incorporated into Google Fiber. There is no current definition of 5G speeds, but it could very well lead to a new generation of technology and mobile devices.
This news comes hot on the heels of the public backlash from the transgendered community regarding Facebook’s handling of their “real name” policy. The social network said it would be changing their policy requiring users to go by their real name, but did not provide specifics.
Under development for about a year, the anonymous app will create a venue in which users can discuss topics and express opinions they may not want to share using their real names.
Whether or not the app will connect in any way to Facebook’s main app is not clear at this time. Some rumors suggest the app could have a health aspect, after recent reports the social network would be launching a health-focused app.
If you’re a Google Voice user, you might be glad to hear the company has added MMS support from “nearly 100 different North American carriers.” In the US, this includes big names such as AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, but Verizon is not on board. Canada’s big three – Telus, Bell and Rogers – will all offer MMS/Google Voice compatibility.
This means your Google Voice number can now receive in-line MMS photos from friends on the networks of the included carriers.
Google associate Alex Wiesen subtly called Verizon out on their failure to join the list of carriers by saying, “If you’re a carrier, and you want to enable MMS support for Google Voice, please let us know. We’re big fans of text messaging interoperability.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) handed out a hefty $600,000 fine to Marriot International for blocking their customers’ personal mobile hotspots. The Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville disabled all Wi-Fi except the hotel’s own, and went on to charge guests for accessing the hotel network. Guests accumulated charges from $250 to $1,000 per device.
“It is unacceptable for any hotel to intentionally disable personal hotspots while also charging consumers and small businesses high fees to use the hotel’s own Wi-Fi network,” FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc said in a statement. “This practice puts consumers in the untenable position of either paying twice for the same service or forgoing Internet access altogether.”
The FCC’s investigation of this issue has been ongoing since March 2013, when a customer launched a complaint. Now, not only will Marriot be responsible for paying the fine, but the Gaylord Opryland will have to develop a plan to improve how it monitors and uses its Wi-Fi network and file reports to the FCC every three months for three years.
Marriot sticks to its belief that they have done nothing illegal, and therefore should not have been charged.
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