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Low-income Americans are expected to be able to apply for help from the federal government in paying for Internet access in December.
Verizon will pay a $1.35 million fine over its “supercookie” that followed phone customers on the Internet and the government says it’s required to get an explicit “yes” from customers for some kinds of tracking.
The Federal Communications Commission is moving to further limit how much companies can charge for phone calls made from jails and prisons, capping rates on all types of calls.
The FCC wants an end to sports blackouts. The Federal Communications Commission voted to end a decades-old rule preventing cable and satellite operators from airing sports events that were blacked out on local TV. The commission says the rule was outdated and unnecessary. It was originally adopted to help boost ticket sales in the 1970s. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler says NFL teams have hidden behind the rule, but acknowledges it may not spell the end to sports blackouts. The NFL would still be able to negotiate its own rules with cable and satellite companies – those agreements just wouldn’t have the backing of the federal government. – AP
Next Wednesday, if your favorite website seems to load slowly, take a closer look: You might be experiencing the Battle for the Net’s “Internet Slowdown,” a global day of grass-roots action. Protesters won’t actually slow the Internet down, but will place on their websites animated “Loading” graphics (which organizers call “the proverbial ‘spinning wheel of death’ ”) to symbolize what the Internet might soon look like. As that wheel spins, the rules about how the Internet works are being redrawn. Large Internet service providers, or ISPs, like Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T and Verizon are trying to change the rules that govern your online life. The fight over these rules is being waged now. These corporate ISPs want to create a two-tiered Internet, where some websites or content providers pay to get preferred access to the public. Large content providers like Netflix, the online streaming movie giant, would pay extra to ensure that their content traveled on the fast lane. But let’s say a startup tried to compete with Netflix. If it couldn’t afford to pay the large ISPs their fees for the fast lane, their service would suffer, and people wouldn’t subscribe.
A commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission says it’s time to repeal NFL television blackout rules. Ajit Pai says the FCC needs to “be on the side of sports fans” regarding league rules that prevent games that are not sold out from being broadcast in the home team’s market. Pai is one of five FCC commissioners. The FCC has spent the past year seeking public input regarding blackout regulations. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said there is no reason to change the blackout policy put in place in 1975. Goodell says repeal could affect future TV contracts and lead to fewer games broadcast for free. – AP
A divided Federal Communications Commission has approved new rules meant to prohibit broadband companies from interfering with Internet traffic flowing to their customer
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks.
WASHINGTON – More corners of the country would have high-speed Internet access and existing connections would become much faster under a sweeping proposal to overhaul U.S. broadband policy that is being unveiled today. The plan from the Federal Communications Commission is meant to guide the government’s strategy on broadband for the next decade and beyond. It reflects the Obama administration’s concern that the nation that invented the Internet is in danger of falling behind the development of online applications in other countries that have faster broadband speeds at lower prices.
Washington is among more than two dozen states seeking permission to jam cellphone signals inside prison walls to thwart inmates from making illegal calls.