The European Commission has been trying to establish a Digital Single Market (DSM) that makes goods and services accessible to everyone in the EU and broadens the reach and potential of start-ups, businesses, and governments. The legislation has been marching toward its approval and application, and today marks the first step on the path toward the DSM. The European Parliament, Council, and Commission have agreed, after almost two years of proposals and negotiations, on the first crucial pillar of this plan: a single market in telecoms.
That means two important changes in the telecom industry are about to be implemented in the EU: the end of roaming charges and the establishment of an open Internet. Read More
The Federal Communications Commission is taking action, and wireless carriers are now on guard. Once the government department's new net-neutrality rules took effect on Friday, Sprint stopped throttling customers on unlimited plans, according to The Wall Street Journal. The carrier says its policy would have been allowed under the new rules, but it made the change anyway just to be sure.
Sprint made this decision a few days before the FCC fined AT&T $100 million for making misleading promises of unlimited data. The carrier, which no longer offers such plans, throttled customers who went over unspecified data limits and didn't notify those affected. Read More
You might have heard the news already, but the Federal Communications Commission has voted three to two to classify Internet service as a Title II utility in the United States, marking the biggest win for Net Neutrality advocates in... well, ever. A lot of the "people" (remember, in America corporations are people too) who don't like that have issued statements about how much they Read More
really want to throttle Internet speed, block legal services, and charge double for content disagree with the FCC, but none have done so in quite the way that Verizon has. For lack of a better term, Verizon has officially gone Full Bitch with its response on its official public policy blog.
Tom Wheeler, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, announced today that he will reclassify broadband internet providers as Title II utilities under the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The proclamation, written for Wired, dances back and forth between his specific plans and lots of bluster for a public that is hungry for more ISP regulation. One rather surprising note is that mobile broadband will also be included in this move, which was not nearly as expected or precedented.
What is this all about?
After a lawsuit filed by Verizon a year ago, a federal court ruled that the FCC did not have legal standing to enforce their net neutrality rules. Read More
It can't be easy to be a BlackBerry user these days. Despite the hardware and software maker's (arguably) best efforts, the company has fallen from its height as the undisputed king of the boardroom to shipping just one out every two hundred smartphones worldwide in the last quarter. The reasons for BlackBerry's decline are legion: a failure to innovate quickly as Android and iPhone adoption soared, an ineffective ecosystem and infrastructure, and hardware missteps like the Storm at critical junctures. But one thing tends to upset users more than any other: a lack of apps.
It bothers BlackBerry CEO John Chen too. Read More
Bharti Airtel is the largest cellular carrier in India with roughly 200 million subscribers. Basically, it has some weight to throw around, and it's using it to strike a blow against net neutrality. Airtel has amended its terms and conditions to stipulate that its data plans cover standard internet use only, meaning increasingly popular VoIP services like Skype are not included. If you want to make VoIP calls, it costs extra. People are not pleased.
Netflix now covers the first 5GB of mobile app streaming for AT&T customers at no cost to you.
Beats Music: no data charge, no worries - only on AT&T.
Amazon Prime Members now get free Instant Video streaming on AT&T.
When put in the right light - that is, the light AT&T wants you to see it in - the company's new "Sponsored Data" program doesn't sound all that bad. In fact, it actually sounds pretty good, in theory. Free Instant Video streaming over your AT&T connection? Guess I'm renewing that Amazon Prime membership. 5GB of Netflix a month? Well, no reason to cancel my subscription just yet. Read More
Does it ever bother you that you have to pay for the bandwidth that companies are using to show you advertising? How about the fact that you have to pay for a PDF policy download from your insurance company? AT&T is hoping to make those bits of your data cap (or overage charge, as it may be) disappear. Today the wireless provider is accepting applications from other companies that wish to sponsor data.
Here's how it works: you're browsing the web and you come across a video ad for, say, a new flavor of Coke. Being the data-savvy customer that you are, you don't open the video, because it will just eat into your data cap. Read More
It seems there's been some renewed interest in the subject of Block C LTE "no locking" provisions after news that the Motorola RAZR will come equipped with a locked bootloader per Verizon's request. About four months ago, I published an article on this very topic. To summarize: Verizon can basically do almost anything it wants with handsets on its network in the name of reasonable network management - subject to a few limitations and caveats.
But before we get into the reasoning for this, let's talk history.
The Block C Auction Of 2008
Back in 2008, the FCC auctioned off a block of the 700MHz wireless spectrum dubbed "Block C." Verizon was the sole purchaser of the block, having bid $4.7 billion to acquire the chunk of spectrum. Read More