A new report says that the Federal Communications Commission could propose a set of regulations Thursday that would support net neutrality for both fixed and mobile broadband service providers. The proposal is likely to be similar to the ones that President Barack Obama announced in November 2014.
Late last year, the FTC filed a lawsuit against AT&T, stating that the carrier was throttling data for users on unlimited plans, a practice that has allegedly been going on since 2011. AT&T is now looking to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit by invoking the Tier II "common carrier" clause, which exempts the carrier from FTC's jurisdiction and places it under the purview of the FCC.
U.S. carrier T-Mobile has settled charges levied by the FTC and FCC that they charged customers for unwanted services, a settlement that comes to the tune of at least $90 million. The practice, known as "cramming", stemmed from third-party services from "premium SMS" providers for wallpapers, ringtones, horoscopes, celebrity gossip, and more.
T-Mobile wants its phones, tablets, and devices to work better in your homes and buildings, and to do so it is petitioning the FCC to make that happen. The Un-carrier wants to be able to buy more low-band spectrum to improve in-building coverage in the next FCC auction, and T-Mobile wants the FCC to alter a few rules to help it succeed.
AT&T has agreed to pay a total of $105 million to settle claims that the wireless carrier "billed customers millions of dollars in unauthorized third-party subscriptions and premium text messaging services."
Crushed by a flood of commenters, the FCC has extended the open comment period for their Open Internet proceedings until Friday. When we wrote about the importance of net neutrality back in May, the FCC had opened the door for open comment, and that window was due to close today. But after having been smashed yesterday and today by people like you registering their thoughts with the FCC about how best to address net neutrality, the FCC has extended that window to Friday.
Even with threats from AT&T and Verizon, the FCC has gone forward and voted in favor of previously-proposed restrictions on the 2015 spectrum auction that will offer up valuable low-band airwaves to wireless carriers. The restrictions put in place will reserve portions of the spectrum going up for auction for carriers that don't already have large chunks of low-band spectrum, largely cutting out AT&T and Verizon from participating in many markets.
In an open letter to the Federal Communications Commission, major Internet and technology companies are united in their fight to keep the Internet free and open. Companies that include Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix among others (though Apple is noticeably absent), are standing together to fight the FCC's plans to split the Internet into faster and slower speed lanes as part of a new upcoming vote.