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FCC Wants To End Mobile Phone

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said today it is considering requiring mobile carriers to alert consumers about excessive wireless charges in order to avoid "bill shock."

FCC Loses Net Neutrality Battle Against Comcast
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News broke today that the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the FCC in a net neutrality case vs Comcast. The FCC had previously ordered Comcast to cease treating web traffic for different customers differently (which they had apparently done to slow down connections for users heavily engaged in bittorrent use).

FCC Writes Letter To Google Over Early Mobile Termination Fees

The Federal Communications Commission recently began an inquiry into exorbitant early termination fees in mobile phone carriers’ contracts. The investigation began when Verizon raised its early termination fee to $350 (from $175) for smartphones.

Google Talks Open Internet Goals, Files FCC Submission
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Google filed a submission on its own and one jointly with Verizon to the FCC for its proposed rulemaking docket. Google says its goal is "to keep the Internet awesome for everybody."

Open Internet Heavily Promoted at CES

The Open Internet Coalition launched a new "Protect the Net" campaign at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The idea is to build on growing support among technology innovators for protecting the open Internet, the coalition says.

Google Shares Proposal for White Spaces Database
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Last night, Google announced that it filed a submission to the FCC, asking it to designate Google as one of potentially several administrators of a "white spaces" geolocation database. Back in November of 2008, the FCC approved the use of these White Spaces, or unused airwaves between broadcast TV channels, for public wireless broadband service.

On Google’s Public Policy Blog, Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel, writes:

Internet’s Possible Future in the US Gets Ready to Be Decided
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Update: The meeting ended and the rule making process will move forward after a unanimous vote. The rules say a provider of broadband Internet access service:

Google, Facebook and Twitter Address Net Neutrality

The Open Internet Coalition , which is a group of consumers, grassroots organizations, and businesses "promoting consumer choice and economic growth through an open Internet," has sent an open letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, supporting open Internet rules.

The coalition itself includes a large list of well-known web companies and sites. Companies with founders and CEOs signing the letter include:

FCC’s Net Neutrality Site Gets a Blog

Last month when FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski gave a speech on Net Neutrality, the FCC also launched OpenInternet.gov. The site is described as the following:

Apple May Have Some Explaining to Do Over Google Voice
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There was a lot of hoopla made regarding Apple’s banning of Google Voice from its App Store. Fingers were pointed, names were (probably) called. Today Google announced that the FCC has made its letter (pdf) available to the public. The letter reveals what Google claims to be the explanation it got from Apple about why it would not accept its Google Voice app (as well as Google Latitude).

Group Announces Support Of FCC Open Internet

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) said today that it is critical for U.S. policy makers to combine the important goals of Internet openness with the need to encourage investment in building a 21st century broadband system.

FCC Proposes Net Neutrality Protection Plan
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This morning FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski gave a speech, detailing a proposal for keeping the Internet open for access to consumers, and protecting net neutrality. The proposal would prevent ISPs from discriminating against certain services, apps, or viewpoints on the web. It would also require those ISPs to be transparent about their network management practices.

Online Tool Rates Cell Phone Radiation
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The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has put together an online consumer guide that rates more than 1,000 cell phones based on the levels of radiation they emit.

The EWG says the list is aimed at helping consumers make better decisions about which   cell phones to buy. The free online tool offers information on each phone’s radiofrequency emissions, allowing users to compare different models.

FCC Creates Blog, Twitter Account

A little more than one month ago, we discussed how Google was asking regular people to give their thoughts about the National Broadband Plan.  Now, the FCC’s doing something similar, with a fresh blog and Twitter account apparently intended to reach out to the public.

Consumer Groups Call For Information On Broadband Plans
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A half dozen consumer and public interest groups have sent a letter to Federal Communications Chair Julius Genachowski offering a list of priorities for policy changes in broadband data collection.

The groups are asking the FCC to require all providers to report census block-level broadband availability data. The FCC is currently collecting data that will be used to create a national broadband plan.

FCC Chair Proposes Fifth Toothless Internet Principle

Michael Copps, who is sitting in as Interim FCC chairman in Kevin Martin’s absence until the approval of White House nominee Julius Genachowski, suggested a fifth Internet non-discrimination principle be added to the regulatory agency’s Internet Policy Statement.

FCC Questions Comcast

The Federal Communications Commission is investigating concerns that Comcast’s new network management practices gives priority to its own digital voice services while degrading the quality of its competitors.

In a letter sent to Comcast on Sunday, the FCC asked why the company had failed to disclose "the distinct effects Comcast’s new network management technique has on Comcast’s VoIP offering versus those if its competitors."

FCC Questions Comcast

The Federal Communications Commission is investigating concerns that Comcast’s new network management practices gives priority to its own digital voice services while degrading the quality of its competitors.

In a letter sent to Comcast on Sunday, the FCC asked why the company had failed to disclose "the distinct effects Comcast’s new network management technique has on Comcast’s VoIP offering versus those if its competitors."

FCC Questions Comcast

The Federal Communications Commission is investigating concerns that Comcast’s new network management practices gives priority to its own digital voice services while degrading the quality of its competitors.

In a letter sent to Comcast on Sunday, the FCC asked why the company had failed to disclose "the distinct effects Comcast’s new network management technique has on Comcast’s VoIP offering versus those if its competitors."

FCC Questions Comcast

The Federal Communications Commission is investigating concerns that Comcast’s new network management practices gives priority to its own digital voice services while degrading the quality of its competitors.

In a letter sent to Comcast on Sunday, the FCC asked why the company had failed to disclose "the distinct effects Comcast’s new network management technique has on Comcast’s VoIP offering versus those if its competitors."

Martin Changes Tune On Broadband Smut-Filter
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In his final days as chairman of the FCC, Kevin Martin appears to have done an about face on a proposed content filter for free wireless broadband. After opposition killed the original plan, Martin has placed a new proposal, sans smut-filter, on the table for review at the next and final FCC meeting on January 15.

Perhaps it’s an attempt to end his tenure on a high note by doing something very positive for the nation—auctioning off spectrum to a wireless provider that can serve up wireless broadband to 95 percent of the country.