Entries with tag us federal communications commission.

US Internet Companies Plan Net Neutrality Protest

As the public comment period on the US Federal Communications Commission’s controversial Net neutrality proposal draws to its 15 September close, major US Internet companies have organized a protest designed to increase public awareness of the plan. Companies such as Reddit, Etsy, Foursquare, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Namecheap, and Vimeo, along with 35 advocacy groups, designated 10 September as Battle for the Net day. They posted graphic notices showing what a slower Internet would look like, saying this is what would happen without Net neutrality. Net neutrality, a policy the FCC adopted in 2010 that says carriers should provide the same level of service to all Internet traffic, regardless of source, content, or other factors. Without this, supporters say, providers could sell faster services to richer content providers, putting other providers and consumers at a disadvantage. Carriers say they should be able to run their networks as they see fit. A recent court decision said the FCC doesn’t classify Internet access as a telecommunications utility which exempts carriers from regulations such as Net neutrality. The commission is now considering reclassifying Internet access to enable Net neutrality. Battle for the Net day backers agree. The Sunlight Foundation—a nonprofit organization whose goal is to increase transparency and accountability in all levels of government in the US >— analyzed about 800,000 comments submitted to the FCC on Net neutrality so far and says it found less than 1 percent were clearly opposed to it. (The Verge)(Boing Boing)(Ars Technica)(Fight for the Future)(Battle for the Net)

AT&T May Back Out of US Spectrum Auction

AT&T is threatening not to participate in a major US spectrum auction of airwaves if regulators reserve some spectrum for smaller companies. The US Federal Communications Commission is drafting rules for a pending auction of spectrum now being used by television stations. The draft proposal would set aside up to 30 MHz of spectrum in each market for those wireless carriers without dominant blocks of low-frequency spectrum, according to Reuters. Wireless carriers are keen to secure precious spectrum to ensure they can deliver faster, better services to consumers. AT&T, the second-largest wireless carrier in the US, says these limits would cause it to rethink participating in the auction. “AT&T has never declined to participate in a major spectrum auction and certainly did not intend to do so here,” stated Joan Marsh, vice president of federal regulatory affairs at AT&T. “But if the restrictions as proposed are adopted, AT&T will need to seriously consider whether its capital and resources are directed toward other spectrum opportunities that will better enable AT&T to continue to support high quality LTE network deployments to serve its customers.” The auction, in which television spectrum would be relinquished to the government for sale at auction to wireless companies, is slated to occur in mid-2015. Commissioners are expected to formalize the rules at their 15 May meeting. (Reuters)(The Washington Post)

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