Posts Tagged ‘FCC’

Feds Fine Fraudsters for Making a Billion Robocalls

June 10, 2020

“The U.S. communications regulator on Tuesday proposed a $225 million fine, its largest ever, against two health insurance telemarketers for spamming people with 1 billion robocalls using fake phone numbers.

The Federal Communications Commission said John Spiller and Jakob Mears made the calls through two businesses. State attorneys general of Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas also sued the two men and their companies, Rising Eagle and JSquared Telecom, in federal court in Texas, where both men live, for violating the federal law governing telemarketing, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.”

— “Feds seek $225M fine for pair who made a billion robocalls,” By Tali Arbel, Associated Press

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Congress Passes Another Anti-Robocall Bill.

December 20, 2019

Congress Passes Another Anti-Robocall Bill.

“The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, or the TRACED Act, empowers the federal government with new abilities to go after illegal robocallers. Once TRACED is enacted, the Federal Communications Commission could fine robocallers up to $10,000 per call. It also would require major carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile to deploy a new technology called STIR/SHAKEN into their networks, which will make it easier for consumers to know if they’re receiving a call from a spoofed number.”

— “Robocall fines rise to $10,000 per call under newly passed law,” Makena Kelly, The Verge

More:

“Senate passes anti-robocalls bill; Trump expected to sign,” Tali Arbel, Associated Press

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Don’t Let the FCC Break the Internet!

December 13, 2017

This Thursday, December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote to replace current rules enforcing net neutrality. Who thinks that’s a good idea? The gatekeepers who will become toll collectors: Comcast, Verizon and AT&T. Who thinks that’s awful? The guys who built the Internet and the people and companies who actually use it.

What can you do? Answers here.

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Don’t Let the FCC Break the Internet!

December 12, 2017

This Thursday, December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote to replace current rules enforcing net neutrality. Who thinks that’s a good idea? The gatekeepers who will become toll collectors: Comcast, Verizon and AT&T. Who thinks that’s awful? The guys who built the Internet and the people and companies who actually use it.

What can you do? Answers here.

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If Net Neutrality Goes, the Web Will Be Full of Tollbooths

July 12, 2017

If Net Neutrality Goes, the Web Will Be Full of Tollbooths

The Internet is a utility, a vital public asset in a free society. Who could disagree with that? The Trump Administration. Learn more here:

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Net Neutrality Neutered?

May 3, 2017

Net Neutrality Neutered?

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to roll back government oversight of high-speed internet providers and pretend internet service is not a public utility. His plan would end “net neutrality” and enable broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast to give special treatment to their own streaming videos and news sites, throttling competing content to slower upload speeds unless those content providers pay a premium to enter the “fast lane.”

Of course, as 73-year-old Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI, 5) says,  “Nobody’s got to use the Internet,” right? Right?

More:

“F.C.C. Chairman Pushes Sweeping Changes to Net Neutrality Rules,”Cecilia Kang, New York Times

“The Worst Lies From Yesterday’s Anti-Net Neutrality Speech,” Libby Watson, Gizmodo

“Here’s What Comes Next in the Fight to Save Net Neutrality,” Klint Finley, Wired

“Why the FCC’s Plans to Gut Net Neutrality Just Might Fail,” Klint Finley, Wired

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Court Upholds Net Neutrality

June 15, 2016

Court Upholds Net Neutrality

In a 2-to-1 ruling,  the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld new FCC rules prohibiting Internet service providers from selectively blocking or slowing some sites and services and speeding up favored ones, observing:

“Given the tremendous impact third-party internet content has had on our society, it would be hard to deny its dominance in the broadband experience. Over the past two decades, this content has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, from profound actions like choosing a leader, building a career, and falling in love to more quotidian ones like hailing a cab and watching a movie.”

ISPs had argued that they provide luxury “information services” and should be lightly regulated, but the court upheld the FCC’s new rules classifying them as “telecommunications services” or utilities, which are more strictly regulated. Expect this matter to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

More:

“Cable and telecom companies just lost a huge court battle on net neutrality,” Brian Fung, Washington Post

“Tom Wheeler defeats the broadband industry: Net neutrality wins in court,” Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

“Net Neutrality Ruling Finally Rights a Terrible Wrong,” Micharl Copps, BillMoyer.com

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Internet Neutrality

February 27, 2015

Internet Neutrality

“The internet is the ultimate vehicle for free expression. The internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.” —  FCC Chair Tom Wheeler

The FCC voted to adopt stronger Network Neutrality rules on Thursday. Network Neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all internet traffic equally, that ISPs shouldn’t be allowed to block or degrade access to certain websites or services or set aside a “fast lane” to allow ISP-favored content to load more quickly. Broadband providers will now be regulated as public utilities, and it is this “Title II reclassification” move that will give the agency broader authority to establish network neutrality rules.  Expect resistance from ISPs, in the form of PR campaigns and lawsuits.

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You May Have Just Lost Broadband

February 3, 2015

You May Have Just Lost Broadband
If you’re in the USA, it could be you’ve just lost your broadband connection. Why? The FCC just changed the definition of “broadband” by raising the minimum download speed from 4Mbps to 25Mbps and the minimum upload speed from 1Mbps to 3Mbps. Anything slower isn’t considered broadband anymore. 4% of US Internet users have connections slower than 4Mbps, and the new definition adds another 13% of users with sub-broadband speeds. That’s 55 million Americans without broadband.

How does the US compare with other countries when it comes to average broadband speed? We’re tied with Bulgaria at number 25, way slower than superpowers like Moldova, Andorra and Estonia.

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FCC Chair: What USA Calls ‘Broadband’ Is Too Damn Slow

January 9, 2015

FCC Chairman: What USA Calls 'Broadband' Is Too Damn Slow
The Federal Communications Commission gets to define what constitutes “Broadband” in the USA and the absurd current minimum rate of 4 Megabits per second doesn’t cut it. 25Mbps is more like it, and that’s what the draft of an upcoming FCC report is calling for as the new minimum. Even that is absurdly slow compared to many places in the world. Of course US Internet Service Providers need to serve large spans of sparsely populated rural areas. But still.

And bear in mind that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is the former head lobbyist for America’s ISPs, and this overdue upgrade may be his feeble attempt to distract us from the fight to regulate Internet access as a public utility instead of the highly profitable near-monopoly it has been up to now.

More:

“Only 25Mbps and up will qualify as broadband under new FCC definition,” Jon Brodkin, ArsTechnica

Update:

“Obama Pushes FCC To Expand Broadband Access,” Krishnadev Calamur, NPR

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