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Federal broadband subsidies for the poor approved by the FCC

Federal broadband subsidies for the poor approved by the FCC

This week was an important week in rule making for the FCC, not only did the FCC clarify an 1991 ruling that makes it easier for carriers to block spam texts and robocalls, it has also voted to allow the federal government to give a broadband subsidy to the poor. Under the plan proposed by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, the Lifeline program currently used to provide phone service to the poor could be used to pay for internet service as well.

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FCC’s new plan will let carriers block robocalls and spam texts

FCC’s new plan will let carriers block robocalls and spam texts

Few things are more annoying to receive on your smartphone than spam texts or robocalls trying to get you to buy something. The FCC has made a move to stop both of those things from happening with the adoption of a new rule this week. The new rule gives telephone companies more power in preventing robocalls and spam texts from happening to consumers on landlines and wireless phones.

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AT&T “vigorously disputes” FCC fine

AT&T “vigorously disputes” FCC fine

AT&T sends a response to the FCC regarding a $100 million dollar fine for throttling Unlimited Data users on their network. FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc made clear earlier today that "the Commission is committed to holding accountable those broadband providers who fail to be fully transparent about data limits." AT&T has responded with a statement which suggests they will fight back against the FCC in this matter "vigorously", going on to say that they've gone above and beyond the FCC's requirements in this matter, informing consumers of their data speed limits when they have Unlimited Data allowances more than the FCC required.

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Time Warner Cable about to be hit with first net neutrality lawsuit

Time Warner Cable about to be hit with first net neutrality lawsuit

In addition to Time Warner Cable maintaining its reputation as one of the U.S.'s most-hated ISPs, it looks like the company is about to become the first face a lawsuit for violating the FCC's new net neutrality rules. The update rules went into effect roughly a week ago, and now the Washington Post is reporting that one company is preparing to sue TWC for charging them with much higher rates in order to avoid throttled speeds — basically, holding its internet traffic for ransom.

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LG Smart Lighting joins the Apple HomeKit party to battle Hue

LG Smart Lighting joins the Apple HomeKit party to battle Hue

In the very near future, LG will release a number of smart lights and a hub which will be compatible with Apple HomeKit. This LG Smart Lighting solution is not LG's first - they also released a Bluetooth-friendly bulb called LG SmartLamp, allowing you to connect - one at a time - to each bulb within range. This new line of bulbs will all connect to a single device called a Scene Gateway, a hub that requires only power and a connection to your internet router.

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FCC urges carriers to turn on kill switch by default

FCC urges carriers to turn on kill switch by default

It looks like the kill switch debates will be back in business again. FCC chair Tom Wheeler has come out once again to call on the wireless industry to arms against smartphone theft. And his favorite solution, which is a point of contention for many players in the smartphone industry, is the kill switch. And again, Wheeler urges carriers to make that feature "opt out" instead of the current "opt in", meaning it should be turned on by default in all cases instead of the optional status quo.

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Appeals court denies net neutrality stay

Appeals court denies net neutrality stay

In early May we talked about a coalition of companies that had teamed up to try and get a federal appeals court to suspend net neutrality rules and prevent them from going into effect, that appeal has failed. The coalition of firms was led by AT&T and counted several other companies as members. Originally, the FCC had ruled that the roll out of net neutrality rules would start this past February and would reclassify internet as a utility.

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PS4 with larger 1TB HDD tipped by FCC listing

PS4 with larger 1TB HDD tipped by FCC listing

The PS4 has been on the market for a long time now and odds are if gamers wanted one they have already bought one of the consoles. Sony is set to add a bit more value to the PS4 with a new version tipped by an FCC listing that has a larger hard drive inside. The larger drive might woo some of the people who aren't into gaming, but might want to use the console for media.

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FCC proposal frowns upon robotexts and robocalls

FCC proposal frowns upon robotexts and robocalls

Robocalls are a no-no in most places, and robotexts are treated largely the same way. That doesn’t stop them from happening, however, and so the FCC would like to see options for consumers to block them entirely. As such, the commission has proposed changes to the auto-dialing rules, and it’ll be voting on the proposal the middle of next month. Under it, service providers will be able to offer “technologies” of some sort for blocking the robocalls if they’re unwanted, as well as robotexts in the case of wireless carriers.

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Time Warner Cable rumored to be acquired by Charter for $55B

Time Warner Cable rumored to be acquired by Charter for $55B

While the talks of a merger with Comcast have only just subsided following regulators' disapproval, it appears that Time Warner Cable has already found another suitor. In a new report from Bloomberg this week, TWC is said to be nearing an acquisition deal with Charter Communications worth roughly $55 billion in cash and stocks. The deal, which could be announced as early as Tuesday, is also said to include Charter's $10.4 billion purchase of smaller cable TV provider Bright House Networks, a deal that was made prior to the TWC talks.

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Sprint and Verizon settle FCC’s cramming charges for $158 million

Sprint and Verizon settle FCC’s cramming charges for $158 million

Verizon and Sprint have settled with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over a series of unauthorized customer charges. The government probe alleged that Sprint and Verizon charged customers subscription fees for third-party services such as horoscope, or daily humor services. Although the lawsuits have only just now been settled, the companies were asked to halt their dubious "premium short message services" back in late 2013. The unauthorized subscriptions were about $9.99 per month, and Sprint and Verizon typically took a forty percent cut from each "crammed" charge.

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FCC marches on with open internet rules, AT&T stay denied

FCC marches on with open internet rules, AT&T stay denied

AT&T and fellow telecom companies are trying to prevent the FCC from rolling out new Net Neutrality rules. The telecom companies' latest strategy to slow down the new regulation process from taking effect was to request a stay, which would delay the reclassification of internet as a public utility. The court officially denied the stay in its latest ruling. The telecom companies claimed that because they didn't seek a say request against the three "bright-line" internet rules from the FCC's new Internet regulation, (no throttling, no paid prioritization, and no obstruction of legal content) their stay would not harm the public interest. Yet, the court failed to agree.

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