Tag - Net neutrality
A challenge to the sweeping "net neutrality" rules issued by the FCC in 2015 has been rejected by the Washington, DC US Circuit Court of Appeals. The court, which had previously rejected some of the FCC's earlier net neutrality proposals in a 2-1 ruling that forces AT&T and a national ISP industry group, which brought the challenge, to obey federal regulations that prevent the extortionate practice of blocking or slowing some internet traffic and prioritizing those that agree to pay the providers a fee.
In the 2015 Open Internet Order (also referred to as the net neutrality order) the Commission enhanced the rule governing broadband providers' disclosure of commercial terms, network performance, and network management practices. During the debate and framing of the regulation, the US Federal Communications Commission found that consumers needed an easy way to understand specifics of broadband offerings, and required that providers convey the required information in a simple format that would enable consumers to easily compare services of different broadband providers. In a press conference earlier today, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler rolled out the new labels in conjunction with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray.
Facebook's project to provide people in developing countries access to essential websites has come under fire in India, with the local telecommunications regulator banning free mobile data programs that appear to go against net neutrality principles. Free Basics, the Facebook-created service is no longer allowed to operate in the country, after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) instituted new regulations effectively forbidding it.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking into how telecommunications providers offer free allocations of data to their subscribers. AT&T, Comcast, and T-Mobile have all been sent requests by the FCC for more information about these programs operate, with the possibility that the carriers and cable companies providing them to customers may be doing so against net neutrality principles.
The European Union's crusade against roaming charges has received crucial support from the European Parliament, after being given the all-clear, at the same time as new net neutrality measures. Proposals to scrap roaming charges completely across the continent have been approved by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in a vote, and though they won't be removed completely until mid-2017, consumers in the region can expect to start feeling the effects of changes in the law from April next year.
Sprint has launched a new price plan today that it hopes will make the cost of the service simpler to subscribers signing up to it. At the same time, the carrier has also come under fire for including a policy in the "All-In" plan's small print, limiting the amount of data transferred for specific types of network traffic, a move which some may consider to be against the basic principles of net neutrality.
Europe is one step closer to ending mobile phone roaming charges throughout the continent, after the European Parliament agreed on new rules to forbid them once and for all. According to the deal, agreed to last night in the final days of Latvia's European Union Council presidency, roaming charges as a whole in the region will be scrapped in the next two years, with the agreement also -- surprisingly -- including stricter net neutrality rules that would apply across the continent.
As predicted by Verizon when it announced the deal, Verizon Communications and AOL today announced the successful completion of Verizon's tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of AOL for $50 per share in cash. As a result, AOL shares will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and AOL is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon. The sale includes AOL properties like Engadget, The Huffington Post, and Tech Crunch -- all staunch defenders of Net Neutrality and the US Federal Communication Commission's Open Internet regulation.
Citing comments leading up to the establishment of the Open Internet regulation, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) consumer and governmental affairs bureau chief today appointed Parul P. Desai to serve as the Open Internet ombudsperson, the public's primary point of contact within the agency. Desai will be responsible for fielding formal inquiries, informal questions, and any complaints that may arise related to the Open Internet rules from both consumers and industry sources.
Following a review period after publication in the Federal Register, on Friday, the FCC's Open Internet order went into effect. Service providers are now officially reclassified as Title II carriers, and will be governed with a "light touch." Opinions and debate swirls around the topic along industry and party lines. However, for now, Open Internet rule is in effect.