fcc

Tue
23
Mar
John Lister's picture

Robocallers Fined $225M; May be Blocked by Carriers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined two telemarketers a record $225 million for unlawful automated "robocalls." The offenders, who used names including JSquared Telecom and Rising Eagle, made around a billion such calls in a ... five-month period. The fine isn't just a record for robocalls, but is also the largest ever issued by the FCC for any reason. (Source: cnbc.com ) The calls claimed to offer health insurance plans from well-known legitimate providers. In fact the calls were made on behalf of several companies, at least one of which has already been sued for its own ... (view more)

Thu
25
Jul
John Lister's picture

Robocall Bill Passes House

The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly backed a bill to crack down on unwanted robocalls. The bipartisan measure would increase regulatory power and make use of technology to tackle the problem. The proposed Stopping Bad Robocalls Act ... passed by 429 votes to 3. It follows a 97 to 1 vote in the Senate on a similar bill in May. It's now highly likely one of the bills will pass through both houses and become law. (Source: appleinsider.com ) Robocalls are automatically dialed phone calls. Because there's no need for a human to dial the number, both legitimate marketers and scammers can ... (view more)

Wed
09
May
John Lister's picture

Robocalls on the Rise; FCC rethinks Restrictions

Robocalls are on the rise according to one company which tries to fight them. Sneaky new tactics and a recent court ruling are both contributing factors. The rise has been reported by YouMail, which produces apps for smartphones designed to block ... automated robocalls that aren't made by a human and instead play a recorded message when the recipient picks up. Based on records collated from its apps, YouMail estimates 3.4 billion such calls were made in April, up from around 2.5 billion in the same period last year. While the nature of the estimate means the figures themselves shouldn't be taken ... (view more)

Wed
07
Mar
John Lister's picture

Net Neutrality Now State vs Federal, but Will it Last?

Washington State has passed a law enforcing net neutrality. It could prompt a legal battle over state versus federal rulemaking power. The state law, which takes effect in June, is based on the net neutrality principle that all Internet data (except ... for illegal content) should be treated equally. The new law bans three specific behaviors by Internet providers who offer service in Washington state, namely: blocking users from accessing any legal service, content or application; slowing down transfer speeds for specific types of content; and giving favorable treatment to particular data in ... (view more)

Thu
30
Mar
John Lister's picture

Congress: Internet Firms Can Share (Sell) Your User Activity

Congress has voted to ditch rules that would have made it harder for broadband companies to share personal user data with third party companies. The vote means Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations will not take effect. The rules were ... adopted by the FCC last October and covered broadband and wireless providers, but not websites such as Google or Facebook. Had they taken effect, the rules would have meant Internet providers could not share key data - for example with advertisers - without the explicit consent of customers. This data included browsing history, details of the apps ... (view more)

Thu
20
Oct
John Lister's picture

T-Mobile Hit With $48 Million Penalty in 'Unlimited Data' Dispute

T-Mobile has agreed to pay nearly $50 million after misleading customers about a supposed unlimited data plan. Unlike rival AT&T, it chose to settle with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rather than risk a court case. The agreement ... came after complaints from a customer who had signed up to an unlimited plan for mobile data use. It turned out that at times when the service was most heavily used T-Mobile "de-prioritized" -- in other words, slowed down -- data speeds for customers who used the most data. It's believed the threshold, which was never made public, was ... (view more)

Wed
14
Sep
John Lister's picture

Netflix Urges FCC to End All Data Caps

Netflix has called upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to examine whether data caps are harming the expansion of broadband data. The company, which also has close interest on the subject, says the FCC might have a legal duty to take ... action on the matter. The company complained in particular about monthly data limits on home broadband such as those imposed by Comcast, which recently enforced a 300GB a month cap on some customers - along with steep overage fees ($10 per 50GB). However, Comcast now says the cap has been bumped to 1TB , with unlimited data available in some areas, ... (view more)

Tue
10
May
John Lister's picture

Phone Manufacturers, Carriers Under Security Probe

Two government agencies are investigating the way smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers issue security updates for devices. They say they are particularly worried about older devices being left unpatched. It's a rare joint probe by both the ... Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). While the FCC usually handles issues relating to the Internet and smartphones, the FTC usually only gets involved in cases of misleading advertising or unfair contracts. That may suggest officials are exploring whether companies have overstated the security their ... (view more)

Wed
09
Mar
John Lister's picture

Lifeline Low Income Phone Subsidy to Include Broadband

The US government plans to offer a subsidy to help people on low incomes get cheaper access to broadband Internet. Recipients would get a choice of using it on fixed-line or mobile services. The plan is an extension to an existing program called ... Lifeline, which has been running for around thirty years. Its funded by a levy on phone companies and allows people who meet low income eligibility requirements to get a monthly discount of $9.25 on phone line rental. Since 2005, the plan has allowed recipients to opt to use the discount of a pre-paid cellular phone plan instead of a landline. Now the ... (view more)

Thu
26
Nov
John Lister's picture

FCC to Tighten Online Privacy and Security Oversight

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has hired a noted privacy campaigner to investigate Internet providers. It's part of a joint move with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to strengthen security and privacy measures in the communications ... industry. Jonathan Mayer has been hired as the FCC chief technologist in its enforcement division. In effect, he'll deal with the practical issues involved in deciding whether or not a company is following the law. It's a strong sign the commission intends to get tougher on company violations. New Appointee Exposed Google Trickery Mayer ... (view more)

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