AT&T announced a major development following its merger with DIRECTV, adding to what is quickly becoming a byzantine mixture of offerings for those who want a cable channel package. The latest service, called DIRECTV NOW, can best be described as a streaming version of DIRECTV's satellite channel lineups. In other words, DIRECTV NOW is a bit like a beefed-up Sling TV. Read More
What's better than unlimited data? You guessed it: unlimited data you can use to stream videos, music, and games at the same speed you can stream anything else. Well, Sprint has decided to offer us lucky consumers the opportunity to use unlimited data for the things that motivate most of us to consider these plans in the first place. Of course, you have to pay $20 more per month, per line for that right. Read More
Net neutrality is a tricky beast. The informal principle is usually applied to the idea of data providers charging more for specific services, but it can also extend to telecoms giving away specific services (and, by extension, charging more for everything else). That's the attitude of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, known locally as "Trai," expressed in a statement today. The regulator says that it will not allow any service provider to "offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on basis of content," more or less aligning India's wireless and landline data industry with the principles of net neutrality. Read More
Listen, I don't really have a problem with Binge On itself - it's a pretty nifty value-add for T-Mobile customers that allows them to throttle all their video streamed over mobile data to 480p, in exchange for some of that video (Binge On partner services, like Netflix, but notably not YouTube) not counting against their plan's data cap. I consider this a "pretty fair deal." In exchange for reducing the burden of video bandwidth on T-Mobile's network, you get to stream all the [partnered] OK-quality video you want. It's nice!
But T-Mobile has come under fire - and I think rightly so - for the fact that Binge On is an opt-out service that does not explicitly disclose to subscribers just what they've automatically signed up for. Read More
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