FCC


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FCC Tells Phone Carriers To Have A System Ready To Combat Robocalls By 2019

FCC tells phone carriers to have a system ready to combat robocalls by 2019Jacob Siegal / BGR - 10 months ago
  • Robocalls have become so frequent and unavoidable in recent months that US Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai this week sent a letter to thirteen major phone carrier CEOs ordering them to have a system in place to handle the issue that affects millions of Americans daily by 2019 at the latest.
  • According to Reuters, Pai asked for companies to start using a “call authentication system” to stop the usage of spoofed numbers back in May, and six months later, he wants to know how those efforts have been proceeding.
  • In his letters, Pai specifically cites Sprint, CenturyLink, Charter and others, as companies he is concerned do “not yet have concrete plans to implement a robust call authentication framework.“ That call framework “digitally validates the handoff of phone calls passing through the complex web of networks, allowing the phone company of the consumer receiving the call to verify that a call is from the person supposedly making it.”
  • YouMail, a company which blocks and tracks robocalls, estimates that 5.1 billion unwanted calls were received in October, up from 3.4 billion in April.

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Ajit Pai Killed Rules That Could Have Helped Florida Recover From Hurricane

Ajit Pai killed rules that could have helped Florida recover from hurricaneJon Brodkin / Ars Technica - 10 months ago
  • The Federal Communications Commission chairman slammed wireless carriers on Tuesday for failing to quickly restore phone service in Florida after Hurricane Michael, calling the delay "completely unacceptable."
  • But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's statement ignored his agency's deregulatory blitz that left consumers without protections designed to ensure restoration of service after disasters, according to longtime telecom attorney and consumer advocate Harold Feld.
  • The Obama-era FCC wrote new regulations to protect consumers after Verizon tried to avoid rebuilding wireline phone infrastructure in Fire Island, New York, after Hurricane Sandy hit the area in October 2012.

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Verizon Fiber Suffered “unprecedented” Damage From Hurricane Michael

Verizon fiber suffered “unprecedented” damage from Hurricane MichaelJon Brodkin / Ars Technica - 10 months ago
  • Nearly 300,000 households were still without home Internet, phone, or TV service yesterday in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, as telcos scramble to repair networks damaged by Hurricane Michael.
  • Mobile service has also taken a big hit, with outages affecting about 15 percent of cell sites in the 21 Florida counties where the FCC is tracking hurricane-related outages.
  • Carriers have made progress in reducing those outage numbers the past few days.

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FCC Tells Court It Has No “legal Authority” To Impose Net Neutrality Rules

FCC tells court it has no “legal authority” to impose net neutrality rulesJon Brodkin / Ars Technica - 10 months ago
  • The Federal Communications Commission opened its defense of its net neutrality repeal yesterday, telling a court that it has no authority to keep the net neutrality rules in place.
  • Chairman Ajit Pai's FCC argued that broadband is not a "telecommunications service" as defined in federal law, and therefore it must be classified as an information service instead.
  • "Given these classification decisions, the Commission determined that the Communications Act does not endow it with legal authority to retain the former conduct rules," the FCC said in a summary of its defense filed yesterday in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Trump Administration Defends FCC’s Repeal Of Net Neutrality Rules

Reuters / VentureBeat - 10 months ago
  • The Trump administration defended the Federal Communications Commission repeal of landmark open internet rules known as net neutrality, urging a federal appeals court to reject a challenge.
  • In a 167-page court filing late on Thursday, the Justice Department and FCC urged the court to reject the suit filed by 22 states, the District of Columbia, Mozilla, Vimeo, public interest groups and local governments.
  • The Justice Department said the suit offers “no substantial reason to second-guess the commission’s decision to eliminate rules that the agency has determined are both unlawful and unwise.”
  • The FCC voted 3-2 in December along party lines to reverse rules adopted in 2015 that barred internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes, also known as paid prioritization.

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FCC Resorts To The Usual Malarkey Defending Itself Against Mozilla Lawsuit

FCC resorts to the usual malarkey defending itself against Mozilla lawsuitDevin Coldewey / TechCrunch - 10 months ago
  • Mozilla filed a lawsuit in August alleging the FCC had unlawfully overturned 2015’s net neutrality rules, by among other things “fundamentally mischaracteriz[ing] how internet access works.” The FCC has filed its official response, and as you might expect it has doubled down on those fundamental mischaracterizations.
  • The Mozilla suit, which you can read here or embedded at the bottom of this post, was sort of a cluster bomb of allegations striking at the FCC order on technical, legal, and procedural grounds.
  • There are at least a dozen separate allegations, but most fall under two general categories.
  • That the FCC wrongly classifies broadband as an “information service” rather than a “telecommunications service.” There’s a long story behind this that I documented in the Commission Impossible series.

34 State AGs Demand The FCC Do More To End Annoying Robocalls

Karl Bode / Techdirt - 10 months ago
  • Despite endless government initiatives and countless promises from the telecom sector, our national robocall hell continues.
  • The trend continues skyward despite the fact that the FCC passed new rules in 2015 expanding the ability of telecommunication companies to block robocalls and spam messages at the request of customers.
  • To that end, 34 State attorneys general signed a formal request this week urging the FCC to do more to thwart the problem.

The Entire Broadband Industry Just Sued California For Daring To Protect Net Neutrality

Karl Bode / Techdirt - 11 months ago
  • As expected, the broadband industry filed suit against the state of California today over the state's shiny new net neutrality law.
  • It if it wasn't so obnoxious with so many far-reaching impacts on consumer welfare, internet health, and competition--it could be deemed high art.
  • ISP lawyers argue California's state law violates the dormant commerce clause of the Constitution (they've previously, unsuccessfully, tried to argue that net neutrality also violates their First Amendment rights).
  • This statute was purposefully intended to countermand and undermine federal law by imposing on BIAS the very same regulations that the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) expressly repealed in its 2018 Restoring Internet Freedom Order (and by adopting even more restrictive regulations), despite the fact that both the FCC decision and the federal Communications Act of 1934, as amended (“Communications Act”), prohibit states from taking such action with respect to jurisdictionally interstate services like BIAS."

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Google ‘Smart TV Kit’ Leaks 3rd-generation Chromecast

Google ‘Smart TV kit’ leaks 3rd-generation ChromecastAbner Li / 9to5Google - 11 months ago
  • Over the weekend, the third-generation Chromecast leaked after early retail availability at Best Buy.
  • A retail employee this evening posted a new picture on Reddit (via Android Police) of the Google Home Mini & Chromecast bundle already available as a Wal-Mart exclusive.
  • The box clearly shows the new Chromecast with rounded edges and matte surface instead of a glossy black finish.
  • As detailed by the FCC, this device is near identical to the three-year old 2nd generation Chromecast.

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Trump Administration Sues California Over Tough Net Neutrality Law

Trump administration sues California over tough net neutrality lawJon Porter / The Verge - 11 months ago
  • The Justice Department has hit back against California’s attempt to restore net neutrality rules with a lawsuit that alleges state legislators are attempting to “subvert the Federal Government’s deregulatory approach.” The suit was announced jointly by representatives of the Justice Department and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (via USA Today).
  • As the most populous US state and home to many of the world’s largest tech companies, California’s net neutrality rules, passed into law Sunday, hold significant sway.
  • California isn’t the only state that’s attempting to restore net neutrality.
  • “Once we establish California as a model of a state taking action, other states may follow, and then I think you may see some of corporate America say ‘OK, let’s have a federal law, because we don’t want to have to do different things in different states,’” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference in San Francisco, Politico reported.

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California Gov. Signs Nation’s Strictest Net Neutrality Rules Into Law

California gov. signs nation’s strictest net neutrality rules into lawJon Brodkin / Ars Technica - 11 months ago
  • California Governor Jerry Brown today signed net neutrality legislation into law, setting up a legal showdown pitting his state against Internet service providers and the Federal Communications Commission.
  • The California net neutrality bill, previously approved by the state Assembly and Senate despite protests from AT&T and cable lobbyists, imposes rules similar to those previously enforced by the FCC.
  • "While the Trump administration does everything in its power to undermine our democracy, we in California will continue to do what’s right for our residents," California State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), author of the net neutrality bill, said today.

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New Huawei Watch With ‘scientific Sleep Tracking’ Passes Through The FCC

New Huawei Watch with ‘scientific sleep tracking’ passes through the FCCCorbin Davenport / Android Police - 11 months ago
  • The original Huawei Watch was one of the best Wear OS devices ever produced, but its successor was a disappointment by comparison.
  • The filing is extremely sparse on hardware details, unless you're super interested in wireless transmissions.

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Apple Wins FCC Clearance For IPhone XR In Time For Oct. 19 Preorders

Apple wins FCC clearance for iPhone XR in time for Oct. 19 preorders AppleInsider - 11 months ago
  • The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday granted its stamp of approval for the iPhone XR, which goes on sale in less than a month.

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The New York Times Sues The FCC To Investigate Russian Interference In Net Neutrality Decision

The New York Times sues the FCC to investigate Russian interference in Net Neutrality decisionJon Russell / TechCrunch - 11 months ago
  • The ongoing saga over the FCC’s handling of public comments to its net neutrality proposal continues after The New York Times sued the organization for withholding of information that it believes could prove there was Russian interference.
  • The Times has filed multiple Freedom of Information Act requests for data on the comments since July 2017, and now, after reducing the scope of its requests significantly was rejected, it is taking the FCC to court in a bid to get the information.
  • The FCC’s comment system keeled over in May 2017 over during the public feedback period as more than 22 million comments were posted.
  • The New York Times, meanwhile, has been looking into whether Russia was involved.

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Latest Pixel 3 XL Leak Focusses On Dual Front-facing Cameras, New Google Assistant UI

Latest Pixel 3 XL leak focusses on dual front-facing cameras, new Google Assistant UIAbner Li / 9to5Google - 11 months ago
  • As we approach the October 9th Made by Google event, there has been an uptick in rumors for other devices that might debut.
  • Ishan Agarwal on Twitter this morning shared new images of a white Pixel 3 XL.
  • However, the Twitter source claims that the second “ultra wide angle” is fixed focus and has a f/2.2 aperture.
  • Meanwhile, we have another look at the redesigned Google Camera app that features bottom tabs to switch between Camera, Video, Portrait, and Panorama modes.

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NYT Sues FCC, Says It Hid Evidence Of Russia Meddling In Net Neutrality Repeal

NYT sues FCC, says it hid evidence of Russia meddling in net neutrality repealJon Brodkin / Ars Technica - 11 months ago
  • The New York Times has sued the Federal Communications Commission over the agency's refusal to release records that the Times believes might shed light on Russian interference in the net neutrality repeal proceeding.
  • The Times made a Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request in June 2017 for FCC server logs related to the system for accepting public comments on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's repeal of net neutrality rules.
  • This led to a months-long process in which the Times repeatedly narrowed its public records request in order to overcome the FCC's various objections.

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FCC Must Defend Net Neutrality Repeal In Court Against Dozens Of Litigants

FCC must defend net neutrality repeal in court against dozens of litigantsJon Brodkin / Ars Technica - 1 year ago
  • Twelve lawsuits filed against the Federal Communications Commission over its net neutrality repeal have been consolidated into one suit that will be heard at a federal appeals court in California.
  • The 12 lawsuits were filed by more than three dozen entities, including state attorneys general, consumer advocacy groups, and tech companies.
  • The lawsuits were all filed in either the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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Beware Neighbor Spoofing Calls Says FCC In Scammer Tactic Advisory

Beware neighbor spoofing calls says FCC in scammer tactic advisoryBrittany A. Roston / SlashGear - 1 year ago
  • The FCC has issued a letter warning the US public about “neighbor spoofing” — that is, scammers who are calling people using numbers that appear to be local.
  • Scammers and spam calls are nothing new; consumers usually avoid answering calls that come with random or unusual area codes, particularly ones that start with an “8,” as a result.
  • The FCC explains that this is a form of caller ID manipulation that makes a call appear to be coming from a local number by adding a local area code.
  • Though many people ignore any number they don’t recognize, some will answer for an unknown local area code number, assuming it may be someone they know calling from a landline or perhaps a company calling about an appointment.

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AT&T Loses Years-long Quest To Cripple FTC Authority Over Telecoms

AT&T loses years-long quest to cripple FTC authority over telecomsJon Brodkin / Ars Technica - 1 year ago
  • AT&T's years-long quest to avoid punishment for throttling unlimited data plans suffered a blow today when a court said that AT&T cannot escape the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission.
  • The FTC sued AT&T in October 2014 in US District Court in Northern California, alleging that AT&T promised unlimited data to wireless customers and then throttled its speeds by as much as 90 percent.
  • Second, the decision affirms the FTC's authority to regulate broadband providers even when those providers offer separate common carrier services, such as landline or mobile phone service.
  • The Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules was premised partially on the idea that the FTC would pick up the regulatory slack on net neutrality.

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FCC Action May See Popular Bitcoin Mining Hardware Model Banned

FCC action may see popular bitcoin mining hardware model bannedDuncan Riley / SiliconANGLE - 2 years ago
  • The shutdown, detailed in a letter Thursday, related to complaints from T-Mobile that radio transmissions from a Brooklyn address were interfering with its 700 MHz LTE network.
  • Upon investigation in November, FCC officials ascertained that the unauthorized radio transmission was coming from an Antminer s5 Bitcoin Miner. Once the miner was turned off, the radio transmission ceased.
  • “Section 15.5(b) of the FCC Rules states that operation of an intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiator is subject to the conditions that no harmful interference is caused,” the letter to the bitcoin miner read.
  • The Antminer s5 Bitcoin Miner is now a few generations old and it’s not clear how many have been sold in the United States.