Federal Communications Commission

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FCC: ISPs Will Have to Ask Before Sharing Data

New broadband privacy rules approved

(Newser) - Federal regulators have approved new broadband privacy rules that make internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon ask customers' permission before using or sharing much of their data, the AP reports. Under the measure, for example, a broadband provider has to ask a customer's permission before it can disclose... More »

Wrongful Billing Earns Comcast 'Biggest Cable Fine Ever'

It must pay $2.3M for negative option billing

(Newser) - Comcast has just been hit with what CNNMoney calls the "FCC's biggest cable fine ever." The company must pay a $2.3 million penalty after federal regulators found it charged customers for services and equipment they never requested. Customers had registered more than 1,000 complaints in... More »

Major ISPs Cheating Us on Internet Speeds We Pay For

Nation's largest ISPs slowing down networks affecting 75% of wireline households

(Newser) - Thanks to new FCC rules put out this year to ensure net neutrality and keep all online data equal, major Internet service providers (think Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner) aren't supposed to hold our Internet speeds hostage. But that's exactly what's happening, per a study by an... More »

A Guide to Today's FCC Vote on Net Neutrality

FCC decision will almost certainly head to the courts

(Newser) - The Federal Communications Commission will vote on net neutrality today, after lengthy debate. Though the topic seems destined for the courts, the FCC's decision "is going to be a benchmark," a researcher tells USA Today . The board is expected to approve chairman Tom Wheeler's guidelines to... More »

FCC Nixes Decades-Old NFL Blackout Rule

But 5-0 vote against regulation doesn't necessarily mean all blackouts will end

(Newser) - Football fans may still experience occasional blackouts of local NFL games on TV—but it won't be because of the FCC anymore. In a unanimous 5-0 vote today, the commission repealed a law that has been in place since 1975 to prevent cable and satellite television providers from showing... More »

Today Is 'Internet Slowdown Day'

Those spinning wheels you might be seeing are a protest

(Newser) - Net neutrality supporters get their day of protest, and online businesses like Netflix hope that that spinning wheel of frustration—ahem, we mean loading—puts pressure on lawmakers. Today is Internet Slowdown Day, and while your Internet connection won't actually be slower, the guttural response to those endlessly... More »

Report: FCC to Allow Internet 'Fast Lanes'

Critics fear move means net neutrality is dead

(Newser) - Is the Federal Communications Commission preparing to kill off the concept of "net neutrality" by allowing Internet providers to offer a "fast lane" for preferred customers? New rules being proposed by the commission would allow major content providers like Netflix or Disney to pay a premium to deliver... More »

Obama, Make These 5 Tweaks to SOTU

Ian Bassin lists 5 'bold' moves president could make at State of the Union

(Newser) - President Obama will announce a number of executive actions at tonight's State of the Union Address—but though the writing and planning of the speech likely started months ago, there are probably a number of aides considering last-minute additions even now. Ian Bassin should know: He used to be... More »

How Yesterday's Ruling Could Alter the Web Forever

Users could see higher costs for services—or lose access to sites

(Newser) - Yesterday was the day net neutrality died , with a court ruling that Internet service providers aren't bound by FCC non-discrimination rules—so they can prioritize some traffic over others. The decision may mean major changes for the everyday user, and today, media sites are offering the details. Among their... More »

Court Strikes Big Blow to Net Neutrality

Says ISPs can discriminate against traffic

(Newser) - A federal court has rejected FCC Open Internet regulations to ensure Internet service providers can’t discriminate when it comes to web traffic. In Verizon v. FCC, the Washington, DC, court found that ISPs can legally prioritize or block some traffic, the Washington Post reports. The court did, however, rule... More »

FCC Chair Doesn't Want Phones in Air Either, But...

'...we are not the Federal Courtesy Commission' he explains

(Newser) - A bit of advice for the Federal Communications Commission: Nobody seems to want you to lift your ban on in-flight cell phone use. The Department of Transportation is firmly against the move, as are airlines, flight attendants, and, according to polls, the majority of passengers, the Wall Street Journal finds.... More »

FCC's Lone Republican Fights for Life of AM Radio

Just 15% of radio listeners tune in

(Newser) - AM radio doesn't have it easy these days. It's not just that FM, satellite radio, and online listening services keep eating away at its audience: AM also faces interference from all kinds of consumer electronics. But the New York Times reports that the radio format has found a... More »

FCC Chairman: Boston Player's On-Air F-Bomb Fine by Me

Julius Genachowski stands with David Ortiz, Boston

(Newser) - David Ortiz recently let an F-bomb fly during a live broadcast, but the Boston Red Sox player had kind of a good reason—and even the FCC chairman agrees. "This is our fucking city and nobody’s going to dictate our freedom," Ortiz said Saturday before the Sox... More »

FCC Boss Calling It Quits

Julius Genachowski was appointed in 2009

(Newser) - The head of the FCC will announce his exit today after four years on the job, insiders tell Reuters . The expected move comes ahead of his term's end in June. President Obama appointed ex-venture capitalist Julius Genachowski in 2009; his term saw the commission halt a proposed T-Mobile-AT&T... More »

FCC Puts Kibosh on Cell Phone Signal Boosters

Tells owners they may have to turn them off

(Newser) - The FCC today ordered the 2 million Americans using wireless signal boosters to turn them off—then quickly backpedaled, saying only that they might have to turn them off. The FCC adopted new rules governing the devices, which are designed to boost cell phone reception, but which regulators fear will... More »

CBS May Be in Trouble for Flacco F-Bomb

Parents Television Council wants FCC to investigate

(Newser) - Another Super Bowl will be investigated by the FCC—not for a wardrobe malfunction this time, but for an F-bomb. While celebrating last night's win, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco appeared to say, "This is fucking awesome," Politico reports. Another player apparently said, "Holy shit."... More »

Google Is Building a Private Wireless Network at HQ

Which makes some wonder what it's up to

(Newser) - Google is creating its own, experimental wireless network for its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., leaving tech watchers wondering what it's up to. Last week Google asked the FCC for permission to set up an "experimental radio service" within a two-mile radius of its headquarters, using frequencies incompatible... More »

Starting Today, TV Ads Can't Blare Anymore

FCC implements rule toning down volume of commercials

(Newser) - TV viewing could soon sound a little calmer. The CALM Act, which limits the volume of TV commercials, goes into effect today. CALM stands for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation. The act is designed to prevent TV commercials from blaring at louder volumes than the program content they accompany, and it... More »

Supreme Court Strikes Down FCC's Profanity Policy

Broadcasters won't have to pay fines, sanctions

(Newser) - The US Supreme Court has thrown out fines and sanctions against broadcasters who violated the FCC policy regulating curse words and nudity on broadcast television. The justices declined today to issue a broad ruling on the constitutionality of the FCC indecency policy. Instead, the court concluded only that broadcasters could... More »

Google Fined $25K for Stalling Street View Probe

Company refused to cooperate with investigation: FCC

(Newser) - The Federal Communications Commission was sympathetic in 2010 when Google said it was really, really sorry its street map vehicles accidentally picked up people's personal information from their wireless home networks. Two years later, however, the FCC is exasperated by Google's lack of cooperation with a probe into... More »

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