FCC Schooley Mitchell

California reinstates net neutrality

According to CNBC, on September 30th, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that would restore open internet protections or “net neutrality” in his state. These laws were repealed federally in December 2017. By doing this, California is clashing with the decision of the Federal Communications Commission. Before the bill was passed, FCC chairman Ajit Pai made a speech calling the legislation “a radical, anti-consumer internet regulation bill that would impose restrictions even more burdensome than those adopted by the FCC in 2015.” On the other hand, Gigi Sohn a former senior aide to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, told CNBC the

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Seattle writes its own broadband privacy rules, ignores FCC regulations

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently repealed broadband privacy regulation, a decision that upset many across the country, and allowed internet service providers (ISPs) to collect and sell user browsing data. According to TechCrunch, the city of Seattle, Washington decided to rewrite the rules and protect citizens living in its territory. The FCC repealed a law that would have increased requirements for transparency and security practices, as well as protected browsing history, meaning that ISPs would have had to get permission from their consumers to track and sell it. However, this law never reached fruition. Seattle’s CTO, Michael Mattmiller, said

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5G Standards Are on the Way

If you’re addicted to your phone’s data, but it just isn’t fast enough, you’ll be interested to know a faster network could be coming your way. Soon, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be sharing its thoughts on the future of data, 5G. Right now most of us are using 4G and have been since 2010. This enabled revolutionary connection speeds, and HD streaming of video and music. 5G will take this to a new level by attempting to match our society’s increasing mobile needs. More towers are expected to be built, creating a broader frequency spectrum. The biggest change

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FCC, FTC to Investigate Mobile Security Updates

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are launching parallel probes into the mobile industry’s security update practices. The agencies want to determine how manufacturers issue security updates for mobile devices, and how carriers review and release the patches. “As consumers and businesses turn to mobile broadband to conduct ever more of their daily activities, the safety of their communications and other personal information is directly related to the security of the devices they use,” stated an FCC press release. “There have recently been a growing number of vulnerabilities associated with mobile operating systems that threaten the

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FCC to Examine Business Data Services

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it will be taking a hard look at the business data services market to reform and modernize its rules surrounding the industry. According to a press release, the FCC plans to call for public comment to ensure market conditions do not hinder innovation and competition, and to make transitions into new technology easier for businesses. “Business data services are critical in the day-to-day life of consumers, business and industry, and are integral to the competitiveness of the U.S. economy as a whole in the information age,” stated the FCC release. “Users include banks and

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FCC Hands Down $51M Fine in Lifeline Scam

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is handing down a massive fine to a telecom company that defrauded the government of nearly $10 million. The FCC announced the $51 million fine against Total Call Mobile in a press release last week, alleging the company signed up tens of thousands of duplicate and ineligible consumers to the Lifeline program. “We reserve the strongest sanctions for those who defraud or abuse federal programs,” said Enforcement Bureau chief Travis LeBlanc, in the press release. “Any waste, fraud, or abuse in the Lifeline program diverts scarce funds from the consumers they are meant to serve

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No Plans for FCC to Regulate Netflix

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) won’t be looking to claims that Netflix is throttling its own video streams, said FCC Chair Tom Wheeler. According to the FCC, Netflix and similar services are considered “edge providers” meaning that the rules of Open Internet do not apply to them. “We do not regulate edge providers,” Wheeler was quoted as saying. “It’s outside of our jurisdiction… It is not an Open Internet issue what they’re doing. I’m going to leave it at that.” Netflix has admitted to reducing video speeds for AT&T and Verizon customers for over five years now, but it maintains

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FCC Can’t Stop Facebook from Tracking Users

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says it cannot force companies like Google, Facebook, or generic ad providers from tracking users online. The privacy advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has been petitioning the commission to make the “Do Not Track” setting in browsers illegal to ignore. It sends a signal when visiting websites that supposedly limits the amount of data that can be collected. However, this reduced collection must be voluntary and the “Do Not Track” setting is simply a preference. The FCC said in a written order that enforcing the “Do Not Track” setting actually falls out of its jurisdiction. “The

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FCC Creates Robocall Shame List

Americans will soon have more power to put an end to annoying robocalls. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is posting data from consumer complaints online in an effort to promote feedback and prevent robocalls. The FCC says these automated messages that interrupt people at all hours of the day are the most frequent complaints submitted by consumers. Aaron Foss, founder of call blocker NomoRobo, said he’s traditionally had to submit a Freedom of Information Act Request in order to get the information the FCC is now publicly releasing. “For the past two years I have been advocating for all of

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AT&T Ad Claims Draw FCC Heat

DATA FINE: The Federal Communications Commission wants to bring the hammer down on AT&T, saying it will fine the telecommunications giant $100 million (the largest proposed fine in FCC history) for allegedly deceiving customers about unlimited wireless data plans, The Wall Street Journal reports. It was the advertising for the plans that got the company in trouble. The FCC says AT&T marketed plans as “unlimited” before capping data speeds after customers used 5 gigabytes of data. The capped speeds were then considerably slower, the FCC says. AT&T claims the FCC had said the practice was legitimate and that it had

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