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T-Mobile, FTC settle for $90 mil in ‘cramming’ lawsuit

T-Mobile, FTC settle for $90 mil in ‘cramming’ lawsuit

After calling the claim “unfounded and without merit”, T-Mobile has agreed to settle with the FTC over charges they ‘crammed’ bills with unnecessary and unwarranted charges. At least $90 million will be returned to consumers who can prove T-Mobile charged them for goods or services without merit. The lawsuit stretches back to July, when the FTC said T-Mobile was guilty of “cramming”, a practice of adding charges to a customer’s monthly bill for ringtones and the like.

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Letter from IBM, others to FCC decries Net Neutrality reclassification

Letter from IBM, others to FCC decries Net Neutrality reclassification

Major tech companies sent a letter addressed to the FCC and Congress today in opposition to President Obama’s stance on Net Neutrality. The letter, sent by the Technology Industry Association (TIA), was signed by more than 60 companies including Cisco, dLink, IBM, and Intel. Outlining a trickle-down effect that would ultimately lead to stifling technological investments, the scope of the letter is that reclassification under Title II of the Telecommunications Act is a bad thing. It also serves as a line in the sand, as other tech companies like Netflix or Amazon support reclassification.

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FCC: Apple’s Activation Lock works really well

FCC: Apple’s Activation Lock works really well

Smartphone theft is getting worse, according to a new report from the FCC. In 2012, about 1.6 million phones were stolen. 2013 brought 3.1 million devices being stolen. San Francisco, a forward-facing tech haven, had the worst smartphone theft statistics, where 59% of all robberies included perpetrators taking their victim’s smartphone. Things don’t get much better on the other side of the country, where 46% of thefts in New York involved smartphones. Things do get better if you’ve got an iPhone, which the FCC says helps to thwart theft.

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FCC challenges Netflix on net neutrality talk, peering

FCC challenges Netflix on net neutrality talk, peering

Netflix is no stranger to running afoul of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). At various turns along their way, Netflix has struck agreements to push their content onto screens across the country. According to the FCC, this amounts to an Internet “fast lane” — the very thing Netflix is arguing we shouldn’t have. Though the company is very outspoken regarding net neutrality, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai says their actions don’t match what they say. To his mind, Netflix is taking step to “effectively secure” Internet fast and slow lanes.

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FCC labels on phones, tablets will soon vanish

FCC labels on phones, tablets will soon vanish

The back of your smartphone or tablet probably has a series of symbols meant to inform you about what not to do with your device as well as who’s approved it for your pocket. Now, new legislation has been signed into law to move those etched or printed symbols into the software. The E-Label Act, signed into law today by President Obama, was only introduced this Summer. Manufacturers will now have to find a new way to entertain you while you stare at the rear of your device.

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US E-Labels Act ends the requirement for regulator labels

US E-Labels Act ends the requirement for regulator labels

Smartphone users in the US rejoice. You now have less clutter to stare at on the back of your devices. President Barack Obama has just signed into law the E-Labels Act which loosens the noose on device manufacturers to physically imprint regulators' signages on devices. This serves to clear up some room and conserve some space on devices, especially smaller ones. But considering it is just a US law, device makers will still have to comply with similar policies in other countries in the meantime.

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FCC: T-Mobile to show honest stats on speed tests

FCC: T-Mobile to show honest stats on speed tests

With most data plans, throttling is something we all have to live with. At some point in the month, you might hit a threshold that downshifts your downloads, but to what extent? Most are left guessing at why that video won’t load, frustrated by the entire experience. Today, the FCC announces that T-Mobile has agreed to provide a clearer picture on what throttling means for you, and will release accurate details on throttled customer data speeds, rather than potential speeds your device isn’t getting.

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Aereo files for bankruptcy, and starts saying goodbye

Aereo files for bankruptcy, and starts saying goodbye

Whether we like it or not, Aereo is in serious trouble. Though glimmers of hope sparkle through now and then, Aereo is still prohibited from doing business. Today, the company has announced they’ve filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which is a step to reorganize and restructure. This type of bankruptcy is meant for companies just like Aereo; those who can’t repay creditors or pay down debt. With all Aereo has gone through, it’s a sad day, but may not signal the end just yet.

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FCC asks AT&T to prove why they’re stalling on fiber

FCC asks AT&T to prove why they’re stalling on fiber

In response to the net neutrality kerfuffle currently being debated and discussed, the FCC is all ears to all sides. They are not, however, open to tactical positioning. In response to the yet-unresolved condition of reclassification for ISPs, which would provide the FCC with additional oversight, AT&T announced they would hold off on investing domestically, including their rollout of fiber-optic cable. Now, the FCC wants to know why AT&T is being pragmatic, and wants them to prove their point.

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AT&T wants to halt fiber-optic rollout due to net neutrality

AT&T wants to halt fiber-optic rollout due to net neutrality

Time and time again, we find that Internet Service Providers (ISP) are at a impasse about net neutrality. They like the idea of it, just not the oversight or practice of being governed in any way. Most, like Comcast, simply offer their own solutions. Most ISPs also vow to uphold net neutrality, saying it’s their vision for the future anyway. AT&T, however, is sitting on their wallet. Their CEO is now saying AT&T will throttle back on any network investments until the net neutrality discussion yields results.

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