FCC Blasted For “Shameful” Ruling Against Cities And Fire Department

from ars technica The Federal Communications Commission is in another dispute with the fire department that fought for net neutrality rules after being throttled by Verizon during a wildfire response. The Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District, along with the cities of Los Angeles and New York, last week asked the FCC to extend a deadline for filing comments on the last remaining piece of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s net neutrality repeal. Pai had to seek another round of public comments on the net neutrality repeal and related deregulation of the broadband industry because federal judges who upheld the […]

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FCC Accuses Carriers Of Being “Gateways” For Foreign Robocallers

from ars technica The Federal Communications Commission is asking phone carriers for help blocking robocalls made from outside the US and is implementing a congressionally mandated system to trace the origin of illegal robocalls. The FCC yesterday sent letters to seven US-based voice providers “that accept foreign call traffic and terminate it to US consumers.” Tracebacks conducted by the USTelecom trade group and the FCC found that each of these companies’ services is “being used as a gateway into the United States for many apparently illegal robocalls that originate overseas,” the FCC’s letters to the companies say. The FCC letters […]

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5G is Coming — Here’s How Entrepreneurs Can Leverage It

from readwrite Sprint’s recent launch of its 5G network in Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas; Houston; and Atlanta offers consumers and entrepreneurs a glimpse into the future. As rapid download speeds and seamless connectivity take hold in cities around the world, tech entrepreneurs will have more opportunities than ever before to make an impact. With 11.5 million people having access to Sprint’s network already, imagine what will be possible as that number grows. 5G will unlock new opportunities in every space. The healthcare, transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing industries will all be significantly more capable of innovation and growth as these networks take shape. More here.

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Handcuffing Cities to Help Telecom Giants

from Backchannel It’s good to be one of the handful of companies controlling data transmission in America. It’s even better?—?from their perspective?—?to avoid oversight. And it’s best of all to be a carrier that gets government to actually stop existing oversight. The stagnant telecommunications industry in America has long pursued the second of those goals?—?avoiding oversight, or even long-range thinking that would favor the interests of all other businesses and all other Americans over those of AT&T, Verizon, Charter, and Comcast?—?by proclaiming that there is something really magnificent coming any day now from the industry that will make anything regulators […]

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Why Are Digital-Privacy Apps So Hard to Use?

from The Atlantic Unless two people are in the same room, it’s hard for them to communicate information securely. Phone calls, emails, and text messages could be open to eavesdropping from governments, companies, or hackers—and even paper mail is subject to tracking. Truly private online communications have been available for some time, but most require a high level of technology know-how. Those uncomfortable setting up a PGP key to encrypt their emails, for example, have for decades been left without an option to communicate securely. But since Edward Snowden’s trove of leaked government documents revealed the extent of the National Security Agency’s […]

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FCC Chair: New Internet Service Rules Not Even Close To Utility Regulation

from ars technica Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler today defended the FCC’s new rules for Internet service providers, saying they are “about as far from the old-style monopoly regulation as you can get.” While cable companies and telecommunications providers have threatened lawsuits, claiming the “utility” rules will hurt consumers and impede investment, Wheeler talked about how lenient the regulations are in a public Q&A session at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Led by Wheeler, the FCC last week reclassified fixed and mobile broadband providers in the US as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act, allowing the commission to enforce network neutrality […]

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The Future of the Internet Might Hinge on This Bet

from Medium Humans are driven by metaphors. We can’t help it. “Internet access is like electricity,” we say, and that leads to a host of other mental images: standard plugs for a wealth of devices, warm light against a dark frozen landscape, the burdens of life made more bearable. The warring metaphor now is “the Internet is the new TV,” thoroughly managed, channelized, bent on entertainment, ad-driven, interactive only when it suits someone’s business plan. Both of these metaphors are limited and not quite right. That’s the way metaphors work. But we are in fact ants on a wrinkle of […]

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