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Under new management, the FCC shifts its position on net neutrality and ends investigation into mobile network zero-rating

It's a great time to be an American - at least, it's a great time if you're in charge of a huge telecommunications corporation and you've been sweating some of your anti-net neutrality practices. With the election of Donald Trump and a new chairman appointed at the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC's position on zero-rating policies like T-Mobile's Binge On data services, AT&T's free access to DirecTV Now, and Verizon's free NFL game streaming, has shifted. The Commission is no longer investigating these policies for any reason, according to briefs issued by newly-appointed chairman Ajit Pai.

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FCC To Investigate Cell Phone Unlocking Ban, Unsure If It Has Any Authority To Enforce Any Change

The President still hasn't weighed in on what he plans to do about the cell phone unlocking ban (he's been a little busy with that sequester business that's gonna cost some people their jobs), but FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is a little closer to the situation. Speaking to TechCrunch, the communications head said the organization plans to "look into" the issue and decide whether action should be taken and, if so, what action there is to take.

While Genachowski doesn't sound ready to start pummeling carriers just yet (though it wouldn't be the first time), he admits that the ban is worrisome (and it is!), saying the "ban raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns."

On the subject of pursuing any course of action: "It’s something that we will look at at the FCC to see if we can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones." Those words "can" and "should" are the two major hurdles that the FCC has to get past, though.

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