commentary These two words -- "Internet freedom" -- are ricocheting around cyberspace almost as fast as neutrons and protons bouncing around inside an atom's nucleus. Well, almost as fast.Both Republicans and Democrats -- and most everyone else -- proclaim to be in favor of Internet freedom. Here's a Fox News article, "The 2012 Political Tug of War for the Internet," that describes the political effort to capture the "Internet Freedom" flag. The article points out that the Republican Party platform has a plank expressly headed, "Protecting Internet Freedom," and … Read more
The Federal Communications Commission just gave the final approval for Verizon Wireless to purchase the biggest hunk of spectrum outside of a full company merger in U.S. history. So what's it all mean?
In December, Verizon proposed buying 20 MHz of wireless spectrum from a consortium of cable operators known as SpectrumCo, which included Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Communications. It also struck a separate but similar deal to buy spectrum from cable operator Cox Communications.
The deal was controversial for two main reasons. First, it would have allowed Verizon to effectively double its spectrum holdings … Read more
(Note: This is a guest column by Geoffrey Manne and Berin Szoka. See below for their bios.)
commentary Yesterday was seemingly a good day for users of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. The Federal Communications Commission approved, with conditions, Verizon's purchase of wireless spectrum from SpectrumCo, a consortium of cable companies. The more spectrum that's put to use, the more we'll ease the coming "spectrum crunch" as exploding data demands outstrip supply. This particular spectrum has sat unused for years, and the FCC's approval of the deal (following on the Department of Justice's approval … Read more
The Federal Communications Commission has approved four separate deals that will transfer wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless, including the $3.9 billion deal between Verizon and a group of cable operators.
The approved deals will allow Verizon to get nearly 20 megahertz of Advanced Wireless Service spectrum from SpectrumCo, a joint venture that includes cable operators Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and BrightHouse, as well as AWS spectrum from cable operator Cox Communications.
The agency also gave the green light to transfer spectrum licenses from prepaid provider Leap Wireless. In addition, it OK'd the transfer of wireless spectrum licenses between … Read more
Tuesday's tech news roundup honors our future robot overlords:
AT&T is being accused of data-plan discrimination and breaking FCC rules regarding new iPhone FaceTime options. AT&T recently announced that iPhone customers could use FaceTime video chat service over a cellular network if they have the new shared data plan. (Previously, FaceTime was limited to Wi-Fi.) But several groups have spoken out about the limit and questioned if it follows FCC guidelines. AT&T responded saying it does not believe this breaks any FCC rules, since FaceTime was offered to all customers over Wi-Fi and … Read more
Roughly 19 million Americans still don't have broadband Internet, according to a report released Tuesday by the Federal Communications Commission.
This is the eighth year that the FCC has issued the report, which is a requirement of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. And for the third year in a row, the agency has found that broadband service is not being rolled out in a "reasonable and timely fashion." Still, the report sees an improvement over the year before, when the FCC found that 26 million Americans lacked broadband.
About 14.5 million of the 19 million Americans without … Read more
Some people have raised red flags regarding AT&T's limits on the use of FaceTime on the upcoming iOS, alleging the restrictions could go against Federal Communications Commission rules.
"Over-the-top communications services like FaceTime are a threat to carriers' revenue, but they should respond by competing with these services and not by engaging in discriminatory behavior," senior staff attorney at Public Knowledge John Bergmayer said in a statement. Public Knowledge is a nonprofit organization that works on Internet law.
The "discriminatory behavior" that Bergmayer is alluding to is AT&T's newly announced … Read more
Verizon Wireless faces one last regulatory hurdle in its bid to buy cable spectrum in a deal valued at $3.9 billion: the Federal Communications Commission.
Earlier this week, Verizon and the cable companies involved in the deal won approval from the Department of Justice. But the approval didn't come without strings. Verizon and the cable companies were required to scale back certain parts of their commercial agreements in an effort to satisfy anticompetitive concerns that the DOJ and the FCC had with the deal.
Verizon has also already agreed to sell some spectrum to competitor T-Mobile USA in … Read more
Verizon Wireless and a consortium of cable operators, which includes Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Communications, today won approval from U.S. regulators to go through with their $3.9 billion deal to exchange wireless spectrum.
The Department of Justice announced it has negotiated a settlement with Verizon Wireless and the cable companies. And FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said he supports the deal and will recommend approval with certain conditions in place. The full FCC has yet to vote on the deal. Once that's completed, the sale of the spectrum will be allowed to proceed.
Genachowski said … Read more
Verizon and a consortium of cable companies have struck a deal with regulators to scale back their joint marketing arrangement to gain approval for their $3.9 billion wireless-spectrum deal, according to sources in a Wall Street Journal report.
Verizon and the cable consortium -- which includes Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Communications -- have supposedly agreed to terms put forth by the Department of Justice that will limit the joint marketing agreement to five years and will prevent Verizon and cable operators from reselling each other's services in markets where their broadband, television, and phone services … Read more