• fcc-tom-wheeler

    The FCC tells Comcast and Verizon to stop screwing customers. But will they listen?

    The Federal Communications Commission has issued a statement reminding Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon that they can’t lie about the speed of a consumer’s service. The statement doesn’t establish a new rule — rather, it reminds ISPs that the agency is paying attention to their activities even as it lets them undermine the principles of an open Internet. Here’s what chairman Tom Wheeler, whose proposed net neutrality rules led the Guardian to claim that he intends to “
  • netflix-problem-two

    Verizon promises to improve upload speeds as it pretends Netflix and YouTube don’t exist

      Verizon is planning to increase the speed with which its FiOS Internet subscribers can upload content to the Web to reverse the service’s slowing expansion, the Wall Street Journal reports. The speed bump is expected to be finished by the end of this Fall, and Verizon told the Journal that 95 percent of consumers will receive the update automatically. Maybe then Verizon could address the real problem with its service: the way it handles data from content companies like Netflix. Netflix…
  • fcc-tom-wheeler

    The FCC invites the wrath of Internet commenters by extending its online discussion on net neutrality

    Tom Wheeler must be a glutton for punishment. The Federal Communications Commission has extended the deadline for comments on its proposed net neutrality rules after its site was bombarded with people trying to speak their piece before time ran out at the end of the night. The comments on its website are part of the FCC’s efforts to show that it’s willing to listen to the public’s concerns when considering its proposed rules — which shouldn’t be too hard, given…
  • open_internet

    Netflix and YouTube rat ISPs out to the FCC over fees that could kill the open Internet

    In the past, Netflix and YouTube resisted Internet service providers’ demands for additional fees to carry videos from their servers to consumers with not-so-subtle messages about who’s really to blame when that episode of “Weeds” or that music video needs some time to buffer. Those efforts have escalated today with a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in which the companies — through the Internet Association group which also includes Facebook, Amazon, and others — asked the agency to prevent ISPs…
  • 21st-century-privacy-coalition

    The 21st Century Privacy Coalition doesn’t really care about your privacy

    You could be excused for mistaking a group with a grandiose name like the 21st Century Privacy Coalition for being fierce advocates for better privacy standards. You’d be wrong though. On a surface level, yes, the 21st Century Privacy Coalition — a pack of seven major US telecommunications companies, Verizon, Comcast and AT&T and their ilk, alongside industry groups — talks a grand game about acting in the consumer’s interest. It wants one privacy standard for all communications companies, be…
  • angryphone

    Surprise! People hate Comcast and Time Warner Cable

    Just in case anyone needed more convincing that a merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable would be a monumental fuck-up, a new survey shows that the companies are the least-liked in every industry in which they operate, from broadband to television and beyond. Allowing these companies to merge wouldn’t just give the combined company undue influence over the United States’ Internet infrastructure — it would also create a confluence of public fury that hasn’t been seen since some…
  • fcc-text-message-emergency

    The FCC can barely handle text messages, but we’re supposed to trust it with the Internet?

    When the Federal Communications Commission isn’t busy trying to kill the free Internet, it’s trying to make sure that consumers don’t encounter obscenities in daytime television or can communicate with each other in new and interesting ways. The agency has always been better at the former than the latter, but it announced today the partial success of its efforts to make sure that people can message emergency dispatchers instead of having to rely on phone calls. The only problem,…
  • fcc-tom-wheeler

    The FCC’s Tom Wheeler now has his loaded gun. Will he use it to defend the free Internet?

    The Federal Communications Commission has just granted itself the ability to either protect or condemn the free Internet, depending on how you read the net neutrality rules the agency will consider making law in the coming months. Its top commissioners voted on the proposal today, and despite the dissent of two-fifths of the group and criticism for the speed with which the proposal was rushed down their throats from four of the members, they will move forward. The rules are meant…
  • white-knight

    Netflix and Mozilla show that there’s no room for idealism in modern tech

    Silicon Valley is a capitalist utopia masquerading as a bastion of idealism. The technology companies that call the Valley home are fond of talking about their “corporate values,” as if the first word’s devotion to the dollar sign doesn’t make the second word absolutely meaningless, but when ideals collide with revenues there’s rarely a question of which should be prioritized. (It’s worth noting that I’m speaking of the metaphorical Valley, not the geographic location.) Netflix is a prime example of…
  • fight on the internet

    The FCC holds a Twitter chat, attracting the ire of Internet advocates

    Hashtag activists are finally having their moment. The Federal Communications Commission held a Twitter chat this afternoon to allow Gigi Sohn, its special counsel for external affairs, to explain the agency’s proposed net neutrality rules to anyone with a username and a hashtag. The chat follows weeks of harsh criticism of the FCC’s original proposal, which would have allowed Internet service providers to create online “fast lanes” and “slow lanes,” and comes as the agency is desperately working to…
  • fcc-tom-wheeler

    Tom Wheeler reportedly updates net neutrality rules to block “Internet fast lanes”

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is still trying to prove that he doesn’t plan to axe-murder the free Internet. He has reportedly updated the draft version of his proposed net neutrality rules to make it clear that the agency will not allow companies like Comcast to create “fast lanes” through which data from one company is delivered faster than data sent from another company, assuming the difference is caused by money-grubbing deals. Wheeler’s decision to change the proposed…
  • Drive Slowly

    NeoCities CEO speaks for the tech industry at large, throttles access to FCC headquarters

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to find out what it’s like to live in the slow lane. NeoCities has throttled connections from FCC headquarters to dial-up speeds in protest of the agency’s proposed net neutrality rules, which don’t address deals that allow companies like Comcast to charge other companies for better access to its network, and has posted the code used to do so  on GitHub. The FCC is paving new roads, and now it gets to drive on…
  • fcc-tom-wheeler

    Amazon, Facebook, and other tech giants fight the FCC’s proposed net neutrality rules

    The tech industry has come out against the Federal Communication Commission’s proposed net neutrality rules, which would allow Internet providers to charge for premium access to their networks, giving companies that can afford those fees an advantage over those that can’t. A group of companies including Amazon, Facebook, and Google voiced their concerns in a letter sent to the FCC on Wednesday. “According to recent news reports, the Commission intends to propose rules that would enable phone and cable Internet…
  • rooseveltz

    The future of the Internet, courtesy of Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt

    In the midst of all the recent talk about Net Neutrality – and with it peering agreements between Internet service providers, content providers, and upstream network operators – lies a stark and disappointing truth: the US telecommunications infrastructure is woefully out of date. If the “last mile” of the internet were converted to fiber optic cable, the overwhelming popularity of streaming services like Netflix and Youtube wouldn’t be a problem at all. This may be utopian thinking, but there is reason…
  • reefer-madness-tell-your-children

    Peering pressure: Level 3 shows how interconnection deals affect consumers

    The danger posed by interconnection deals, which allow companies to better connect to Internet service providers’ networks, is starting to be taken seriously. Level 3 Communications has written a blog post alleging that five ISPs in the United States and one in Europe have used their ubiquity to limit its ability to deliver information sent from its clients to consumers. The blog post follows recent controversies surrounding the power ISPs wield over how data is sent from companies…
  • Tom Wheeler

    The Ambiguity at the heart of FCC Chairman Wheeler’s deal

    Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler continued yesterday to defend his proposed new rules for regulating the nation’s internet, this time speaking before a crowd at the annual meeting of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, a lobbying group of which Wheeler was CEO from 1979 -1984. “Let me be clear. If someone acts to divide the internet between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ we will use every power at our disposal to stop it,” he said. His comments on…

The Week in Review