Much has been made about Google's entry into the bidding process (as Google Airwaves), but the tech giant is hardly the only company onboard. As a review, the other big bidders include AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Cox Communications, Cablevision Systems, U.S. Cellular, Leap Wireless, MetroPCS, Alltel, and Qualcomm. Also on the list is Vulcan Ventures, which is controlled by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. It's also interesting to see … Read more
Tough-as-nails Neelie Kroes, the European Union's head antitrust cop, issued a stern warning to any company planning to blow off the regulatory agency and European antitrust laws.
"If you flee the rules, you will be caught. And it will cost you dearly," warned Kroes during in press conference Wednesday, following the European Commission's announcement it was slapping a $1.35 billion fine on Microsoft for failure to comply with earlier March 2004 antitrust sanctions.
It's tough to please the European Commission on matters of antitrust. But then, Microsoft hasn't tried very hard.
The Commission just hit Microsoft with a $1.35 billion fine for being "unreasonable" over its proposed patent fee structure:"Microsoft was the first company in fifty years of EU competition policy that the Commission has had to fine for failure to comply with an antitrust decision," said European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes. "I hope that today's decision closes a dark chapter in Microsoft's record of noncompliance with the Commission's March 2004 decision and that the principles confirmed by the Court of First Instance ruling of September 2007 will govern Microsoft's future conduct."
Now, why would she think that? The Commission has dinged Microsoft before with fines, to no effect. Clearly, it is using the wrong tools or perhaps has the wrong argument. The ironic thing is that Microsoft could reduce its patent fees from its initial 3.87 percent to 0 percent, and it wouldn't affect its business one iota.… Read more
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Comcast has confessed to slowing down certain peer-to-peer file-sharing traffic, but is it being clear enough about what it's doing?
That's perhaps the key question that emerged by the end of a lengthy public forum convened by the Federal Communications Commission on Monday here at Harvard Law School.
While none of the FCC commissioners was willing to solidify an answer to that just yet, two MIT computer scientists on an afternoon panel accused the cable company of behaving badly on multiple levels.
Each drew on his experience with fundamental Internet standards-setting bodies. And each charged that … Read more
Update at 3:10 p.m. PST: CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Federal Communications Commission chief Kevin Martin on Monday targeted Comcast's contention that delaying peer-to-peer file-sharing traffic serves user interests, appearing to sympathize with the cable company's critics.
Through pointed questioning at a public hearing at Harvard Law School here, Martin, a Republican, seemed to be pushing a two-pronged agenda: Internet service providers like Comcast should be as transparent as possible about manipulating network traffic, and consumers should have the freedom to, in effect, get what they pay for.
But at the end of the event, which, all told, lasted … Read more
The Federal Communications Commission is backing off plans to force TV stations to air more advertisements about the upcoming transition to digital TV next year, according to several news reports.
The FCC supposedly backed down from its position amid criticism from the industry that feared airing more advertisements would displace lucrative paid advertisements during prime-time hours, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The FCC is expected to adopt a more flexible plan that will give broadcasters more leeway in choosing which ads to air and when.
The reserve price on a valuable sliver of spectrum was reached in the Federal Communications Commission's 700MHz auction on Thursday, triggering rules that would make the spectrum accessible to any device or software application.
After the 17th round in the auction, a bidder for eight licenses in the "C" block of the 700MHz spectrum auction surpassed the minimum reserve price of $4.64 billion, which had been set by the FCC before the auction began. The current bid is now at $4.71 billion. The minimum bid for round 21 is $5.18 billion, according to the … Read more
Advertisements educating people about the switch in February 2009 from analog-TV to digital-TV signals could soon be airing more often, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal.
The Federal Communications Commission, along with some folks in Congress, say more public-service advertisements and announcements are needed to educate people about the switch to digital broadcasts. They fear that people still using old TV sets that get TV signals over the air will be upset when, come February 17, 2009, their TVs don't work. According to the FCC, in January 2007, some 15.5 million U.S. households still … Read more
The Federal Communications Commission will begin the second phase of lab testing of prototype devices that use the "white space" between TV channels to transmit wireless communication signals.
Phase II of the testing, which is being conducted by the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology, begins on January 24.
The testing is part of a proceeding that will determine if the "white space" or unused spectrum between broadcast TV channels can be used for wireless service without interfering with TV broadcasts.
Technology companies say that using the spectrum between the TV channels could unleash a … Read more
Update 10:53 a.m. PST: This blog was updated to add information about a third petition related to antidiscrimination rules for text messaging.
As foreshadowed at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, federal regulators this week took the first formal step into investigating complaints about how Internet service providers, such as Comcast, manage peer-to-peer file-sharing traffic on their networks.
The Federal Communications Commission late on Monday posted requests for public comment about two such petitions, both of which deal with the question of what practices constitute "reasonable network management"--and therefore jibe with the FCC's policies. … Read more