OPINION: Why cable cutting is NOT a good idea – just not yet

If you read 98% of the articles abut getting rid of cable and going all streaming to save money, they make it seem that it is the thing to do, and that cable systems should be worried about their business, or are even predicting their demise in a few years. Well, I don’t mean to be the caller of bad news, but don’t call your cable company just yet.  Here’s why: While it is true that cable companies are hiking their prices and are giving you less offerings, you’re still getting a deal with the number of channels and offerings Click Here to Read more

U.S. Congress Votes to Repeal FCC’s Internet Privacy Rules

The U.S. House of Representatives voted primarily along party lines 215 to 205 Tuesday to repeal FCC’s broadband privacy rules enacted shortly before the end of the Obama administration, with only the President’s signature needed to make it official. “The Senate approved the CRA [Congressional Review Act] resolution March 23 by a vote of 50 to 48. The resolution removes the rules, approved on a party line vote Oct. 27, from the congressional record and prevents the FCC from adopting substantially similar rules in the future,” John Eggerton reports for Broadcasting & Cable. “Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.), who was managing Click Here to Read more

U.S. FCC Chairman gets ready to tackle ‘net neutrality’

“The Federal Communications Commission’s new Republican leadership has rescinded a determination that AT&T and Verizon Wireless violated net neutrality rules with paid data cap exemptions,” Jon Brodkin reports for Ars Technica. “The FCC also rescinded several other Wheeler-era reports and actions.” “The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau sent letters to AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile USA notifying the carriers ‘that the Bureau has closed this inquiry. Any conclusions, preliminary or otherwise, expressed during the course of the inquiry will have no legal or other meaning or effect going forward,’” Brodkin reports. “The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau also sent a letter to Comcast Click Here to Read more

Trump Administration may roll back Net Neutrality – Why does that matter?

(CNN): President Trump officially picked Pai on Monday to serve as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, the agency that reviews media mergers and broadcast licenses. But it’s Pai’s opposition to existing net neutrality rules that worries many in tech and media most. The net neutrality rules, approved by the FCC in 2015 amid an outpouring of online support, are intended to keep the Internet open and fair. As written, the rules prevent Internet providers like Comcast (CCV) and AT&T (T, Tech30) from deliberately speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps. In short, they’re intended to prevent providers from playing favorites. When the rules were first Click Here to Read more

Donald Trump names new FCC Chairman

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – President Trump has found his man to regulate the media. Trump has picked Ajit Pai to serve as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Pai is currently the senior Republican commissioner at the FCC and does not require Senate approval. However, he will need to be reconfirmed by the Senate before the end of this year because his current five-year term as a commissioner expires. “This afternoon, I was informed that @realDonaldTrump designated me the 34th Chairman of the @FCC,” Pai said on Twitter Monday. “It is a deeply humbling honor.” The FCC’s five-member board Click Here to Read more

Comcast hit with the biggest FCC fine in history

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is leveling cable operator Comcast with the biggest fine the Government agency has ever given to a U.S. company. Comcast is being fined $2.3 million for charging customers hardware and services that those customers did not receive or want. Comcast has to submit a “compliance plan,” in which Government regulators will monitor the company to make sure it cleans up its act. Travis LeBlanc, chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, said in a statement: “It is basic that a cable bill should include charges only for services and equipment ordered by the customer — nothing more Click Here to Read more

FCC delays controversial vote on Cable Box plan [for now]

(CNN/Money): The Federal Communications Commission has delayed a closely watched vote on a proposal that would require large cable and satellite TV companies to make their content available through free apps. The vote, originally scheduled to take place on Thursday as part of the commission’s monthly meeting, has been postponed indefinitely as the government agency works to iron out details amid intense pushback from cable providers, media companies and politicians. “We are still working to resolve the remaining technical and legal issues, and we are committed to unlocking the set-top box for consumers across the country,” FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said Click Here to Read more

FCC Votes to Expand Emergency Smartphone Alerts

Smartphone alerts allow organizations (such as the Amber Alert) to send emergency messages to a Smartphone.  As of now, those organizations have a limit number of texts that they can send with a message. Mid Thursday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to expand those messages (from 30 characters to 90) so that for those organizations who use them, they can provide more detail inside of a message. They also voted for the ability for those organizations to include a Hyperlink inside of a message that a user could tap on for more information about a message.  Those types Click Here to Read more

Apple, AT&T, FCC and Google team up in ‘strike force’ to combat Robocalls

After a call by U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s commissioner, Apple and 32 other companies are banding together to make an industry-wide organized resistance against the expanding “robocall” scourge. The FCC “Industry-Led Robocall Strike Force” is holding its first meeting in Washington D.C on Friday morning. AT&T CEO and strike force director Randall Stephenson is expected to detail the effort at some point Friday following the meeting. The strike force is expected to report back to the commission with “concrete plans” on how to combat the automated call services on Oct. 19. No specific deadline for implementation of any such developed plan is Click Here to Read more

AT&T Gets Caught again – To pay $7.75 Million for Phone Bill Cramming

The Federal Communications Commission on Monday announced AT&T will pay $7.75 million in fines and refunds for allowing scammers to operate a “cramming” scheme that saddled thousands of customers with charges for a fraudulent directory service. According to a statement from the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau (PDF link), the Drug Enforcement Agency uncovered the scam perpetrated by Cleveland area companies Discount Directory, Inc. (DDI) and Enhanced Telecommunications Services (ETS), both of which were each under investigation for drug crimes and money laundering. DDI and ETS set up a cramming scheme that would bill thousands of AT&T customers, mostly small businesses, for Click Here to Read more

iPad Pro and Apple Pencil Pass F.C.C. – Launch soon

The iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil has passed all rules and regulations required by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, which means Apple may announce an official launch date within the next few days or weeks. In the meantime, the iPad Pro’s Smart Keyboard may be limited to an U.S. layout on launch day, according to an Apple News web site in Germany.  The accessory is not to be confused with the other Smart Keyboard for the Mac which was launched earlier in the week.

Sprint to make all devices unlock able after February 11th, 2015

In an update to its online FAQ page, Sprint has said that it will be allowing all of its devices to be unlockable after February 11th, 2o15. The move is a part of the agreement that the five major U.S. wireless carriers and the Federal Communications Commission signed in December in order to allow customers to unlock their devices and switch carriers if they wish.  

FCC Formally Approves Clearwire, Sprint, and Softbank Purchase

As expected, the FCC has officially given the green light to the Softbank purchase of Sprint and the corresponding Sprint purchase of ClearWire. The statement from acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said that the deal serves the public interest and will “accelerate the deployment of mobile broadband services and enhance competition.” Via: MacNN.com

How to: Turn OFF the Government Warnings on the iPhone

Last week, we reported that the U.S. Government had made it mandatory for all cell carriers to add the ability for them to send Government issued text alerts to all cell phones within the U.S.  These alerts could include Amber Alerts, weather warnings, civil defense alerts, special messages from the President, etc.  Once this update had been issued, it was turned on by default. The Government had also mandated that the feature had an on and off switch.  (Confused yet?)  Anyway, here’s how to select which alerts you wish to have and how to turn one or all alerts off: Click Here to Read more