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House Moves to Repeal Net Neutrality Rules, Obama's Veto Looms

The House of Representatives has approved the procedures for a joint resolution that would overturn the FCC's controversial Net neutrality rules. The resolution (PDF) is scheduled for a vote on Thursday in the GOP-controlled House. If it passes, it would then move on to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where its chances of survival are less certain. Even if it passes the Senate, though, the...

Court Dismisses Challenges to Net Neutrality Rules, Leaves Door Open for Future Suits

Challenges to the FCC's new Net neutrality rules filed by Verizon and MetroPCS have been dismissed by a federal appeals court judge. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia tossed out the cases on a technicality. Since the rules had not yet been published in the federal register, it was too early to file challenges to them. The decision does not prevent either company from filing...

60-Percent of U.S. Broadband Misses 4 Mbps Mark

Last year, the FCC conducted a survey of the broadband landscape in the U.S, and things aren't looking good. The findings, released this week, reveal that 60-percent of broadband connections fall short (PDF) of the 4 Mbps download speeds that constitute the "minimum bandwidth generally required to accommodate today's uses." It's not all bad news, though; 31-percent exceeded 6mbps, and wireless...

AT&T Buys T-Mobile: What Does It Mean for Consumers?

In the largest deal the wireless industry has seen since 2004, AT&T has agreed to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion in cash and stocks. In acquiring T-Mobile from parent company Deutsche Telekom, AT&T will pick up an extra 34 million wireless customers, and will provide service to about 43-percent of all U.S. cell phones, making it the country's largest network operator. At the end of...

House Republicans Take Step Toward Repealing Net Neutrality Rules

House Republicans are moving forward with their plan to repeal the FCC's new net neutrality regulations. Yesterday, the GOP-controlled House Commerce Committee voted to overturn the rules by a 30-23 vote that split along party lines. The vote comes less than a week after a House Subcommittee approved the measure by a similarly partisan vote. The FCC is also facing legal challenges from Verizon and...

FCC Launches Crackdown on Cell Phone Jammers

Theaters, restaurants and even some schools have taken matters into their own hands when it comes to disruptive cell phone usage. But the signal jammers that they're using to block people from making and receiving phone calls and text messages are illegal. The FCC is preparing to crack down on the sale and use of such devices and encouraging people to report neighbors or businesses that are using...

Republican-Controlled Panel Repeals FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

Yesterday, the House Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology voted to repeal the FCC's net neutrality rules, just a few weeks after House Republicans passed a resolution to defund the commission's controversial initiative. The Republican-controlled panel voted to overturn the FCC's regulations by a 15-8 vote, split along party lines. The FCC passed the rules in December, when the...

FCC Looks to Subsidize Broadband Access for the Poor

The FCC is looking to make changes to two telephone subsidy programs, with an eye toward providing greater broadband access to poor households. In 1985, the FCC launched its Lifeline Assistance and Link-Up America programs, which subsidize telephone service and installation expenses for low-income families. Yesterday, the Commission officially launched a notice of proposed rulemaking (or, a...

House Republicans Vote to Overturn FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling

The House of Representatives has voted to overturn a controversial FCC ruling on net neutrality, though it's not clear whether or not the resolution will advance much further. In December, the FCC voted to prohibit Internet service providers from blocking legal content on their networks, while allowing them to restrict access according to bandwidth use. The 3-2 ruling elicited uproars from free...

Obama Wants to Usher Every American Into the 'Digital Age'

The final details surrounding the Obama administration's auction of wireless spectrum, potentially doubling that available for broadband, were announced by the president at a speech in Michigan on Thursday. The plan could net up to $27.8 billion dollars over the next ten years, with roughly a third of it going to reduce the budget deficit. It's the rest of the plan, though, where the really...

The NBC-Comcast 'Media Goliath' Merger Stirs Debate

On Tuesday, the FCC and the Department of Justice finally approved a major merger between Comcast and NBC, after more than a year of debate and what federal regulators called the most acute scrutiny a media merger had ever faced. The deal gives Comcast control over NBC Universal's TV and movie subsidiaries, in exchange for about $13.75 billion in cash and assets. Comcast will own 51-percent of...

FCC App Challenge Calls for Spyware That Watches Telcos

The FCC may have declined to enforce Net neutrality rules for cellular providers when it set new guidelines for landline ISPs, but that doesn't mean the agency is letting the wireless industry get away scot-free. The regulatory body wants to keep a close eye on the carriers, who are free to engage in some filtering and traffic management, but must be transparent about how and why those techniques...

An Open Letter From Woz to the FCC

Yesterday, the FCC voted to pass new Net neutrality regulations. Understandably, everyone has an opinion on the outcome (and almost no one is happy). Now Steve Wozniak, one of the most high-profile voices in the tech world, has weighed in with an open letter, published in The Atlantic. The mildly scatter-brained missive calls on the FCC to take action to enshrine Net neutrality as law, and to...

FCC Passes Net Neutrality Regulations, Julius Genachowski Defends Decision

As expected, the FCC has voted in favor of a new set of highly controversial Net neutrality regulations. In a tweet, the New York Times' Brian Stelter confirmed: "Not a surprise: by a vote of 3-2, the F.C.C. supports a new framework for 'Net neutrality.' Framework has still not been made public." Earlier, Stelter obtained a statement that chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to deliver later...

Al Franken Takes FCC to Task for Net Neutrality Proposal

Al Franken thinks Net neutrality is "the most important free speech issue of our time," and he seems determined to fight for it. On Saturday, the Democratic senator delivered a blistering floor speech, in which he criticized the new online regulations proposed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. On Tuesday, the FCC will vote on both the regulations and a proposed merger between NBC and Comcast....