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FCC to propose treating ISPs as public utilities

FCC to propose treating ISPs as public utilities

The FCC might be heating up the old net neutrality debate again come Thursday. The agency is expected to propose the rules that would determine how business around the Internet will be treated in the years to come. In this latest version, FCC chair Tom Wheeler is expected to adopt President Obama's stance to treat broadband providers the same way telecommunications companies are treated and to regulate them as public utilities, giving government more weight over the deals between broadband providers and content providers, much to the chagrin of many in the industry.

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FCC Commissioner wants Dish’s spectrum auction bids investigated

FCC Commissioner wants Dish’s spectrum auction bids investigated

When the FCC auction ended last week, Dish walked away with roughly $10 billion in spectrum. That spend was down from $13 billion, where Dish took advantage of $3 billion or so in discounts. Now, an FCC commissioner is questioning whether or not Dish should be entitled to those discounts. The rub is in how Dish actually acquired the spectrum, where they used a series of subsidiaries to snap up blocks of spectrum. In doing so, they took advantage of ‘small business’ discounts.

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FCC auction: AT&T, Verizon win big, T-Mobile comes up short

FCC auction: AT&T, Verizon win big, T-Mobile comes up short

An FCC auction for wireless spectrum ended this week, and according to the commission, $41.3 billion was raised. That’s a slight dip from the $45 billion we’d heard about when the auction actually closed, but various discounts and incentives helped bidders out. We know what you’re thinking, though. How did your carrier do? Who made successful bids? Luckily, the FCC also let loose all the info regarding who bid what, and whether or not their bids were successful. As you might have guessed, AT&T and Verizon came out on top.

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FCC rules broadband Internet must be 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up

FCC rules broadband Internet must be 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up

The FCC just took a bold step in the right direction. We’d previously reported the agency was discussing a reclassification on what broadband Internet actually is, with a proposal to raise the threshold to 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload speeds for broadband. All the talk actually led somewhere, and the FCC is settled on that redefinition of 25/3Mbps as broadband. The previous definition of broadband was 4Mbps download, and 1Mbps upload. While this doesn’t change what your Internet provider offers, it does change how they present it.

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FCC to hotels on WiFi blocking: it’s illegal, don’t do it

FCC to hotels on WiFi blocking: it’s illegal, don’t do it

Marriott may have dropped its WiFi-blocking efforts, but that doesn't mean the FCC has forgotten about its petition and the WiFi-blocking habits of some other companies. In a warning issued today as an "FCC Enforcement Advisory", the agency made it clear that it is not acceptable to jam others' WiFi hotspots regardless of whether you're an individual or a company, and it specifically pointed toward hotels as an example. In addition, the FCC called hotspot-jamming actions a "disturbing trend" that must stop.

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Google (again) rumored to be launching their own cellular service

Google (again) rumored to be launching their own cellular service

A persistent rumor has once again reared its ugly head. If it sounds familiar, don’t be alarmed — we had deja vu, too. A new report claims Google is “preparing to sell mobile phone plans directly to customers and manage their calls and mobile data over a cellular network”. That’s right, Google is once again (allegedly) preparing to become an MVNO. We know, it sounds great, but this isn’t the first time we’ve heard this kind of thing, so we’re highly skeptical.

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Google wants to test 24GHz spectrum with balloons, drones

Google wants to test 24GHz spectrum with balloons, drones

Drones, balloons, rockets — Google has seemingly endless schemes for delivering Internet to us. We may be largely stuck on the ground, but that doesn’t stop us from beaming info all over the place. In a new letter to the FCC, Google outlines their case for spectrum. Rather than get into the spectrum wars carriers are engaged in, google is going over their heads; literally and figuratively. Rather than frequencies you and I are largely familiar with, Google wants some in the 24GHz neighborhood.

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We finally know why T-Mobile is always up for sale

We finally know why T-Mobile is always up for sale

T-Mobile’s Uncarrier approach is certainly exciting, and it’s given customers plenty of reason to drop that other carrier they may be on and give T-Mobile a shot. Still, quarter after quarter, T-Mobile talks up their growing customer base while reporting financial losses. Long-term, they may be in good shape. Their growth pattern may take years to result in reliable earnings, though. Parent company Deutsche Telekom has T-Mobile up for grabs, and now we know why: the Uncarrier isn’t meant as a standalone entity.

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Gogo gets FCC nod for 70Mbps in-flight WiFi tech

Gogo gets FCC nod for 70Mbps in-flight WiFi tech

Gogo, who provide in-flight WiFi options for many flights, have announced something exciting for the future of connectivity. The FCC has given Gogo the green light to start operating using their next-generation technology, dubbed 2Ku. According to Gogo, 2Ku will bring peak speeds of 70Mbps to you in-flight via a new spectrally efficient antenna. Gogo also says it costs less that competitor’s solutions, and is only 4.5-inches tall. The company even says future satellite technology could push 2Ku even further.

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The smartest Net Neutrality comment just came from the oddest source

The smartest Net Neutrality comment just came from the oddest source

As the FCC prepares to rule on Net Neutrality next month, all parties are drawing their line in the sand. Whether interested parties like it or not, the FCC is going to have to make a ruling on the future of the Internet. Many mobile carriers like Verizon and AT&T are opposed to any kind of reclassification, which would make them move governable. Net Neutrality won’t make many friends for the FCC, but a new line of commentary from a strange source might be the wisest yet.

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Marriott drops hotel WiFi-blocking efforts

Marriott drops hotel WiFi-blocking efforts

You've likely heard the news by now: Marriott was slapped with a big fine for blocking patrons' WiFi hotspots, something done under the guise of "security" but criticized as being a ploy to force guests to pay for WiFi access. This led to an official push for permission from the FCC to jam guest hotspots, and many entities and companies -- including Google and Microsoft -- spoke out against the petition. Now Marriott has backed down, saying it won't go through with the plan.

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YotaPhone 2 gets the teardown treatment at FCC

YotaPhone 2 gets the teardown treatment at FCC

The dual-screen e-ink toting YotaPhone has been one of the more interesting smartphones to enter our radars for the past two years. Happily, it is making its way to the US this time around. But, naturally, the YotaPhone 2 has to stop by the FCC first for certification. And quite surprisingly, the smartphone's filing has more information than FCC sightings usually yield, including some photos of the innards of the device, as well as the user manual that clues us in on how the smartphone's rather ingenious features are meant to work.

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