Can the DoJ Keep Broadband Competitive?
The U.S. Department of Justice seems to be the only thing standing between the $4 billion sale of spectrum from the cable companies' Spectrum Co. to Verizon Wireless, according to multiple news reports. Both the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that the FCC is in favor of the deal, but the bigger competitive issue remains on the table at the Department of Justice.
Verizon Spectrum Deal Stalled by Justice Department's Concerns About Competition
While the FCC is "essentially prepared to sign off" on Verizon Wireless' $3.9 billion deal to acquire AWS spectrum for LTE devices from a consortium of cable companies, Justice Department officials are still worried about the deal's antitrust implications. The office's major concern is cross-selling -- Verizon's re-selling of cable service from Comcast or Time Warner, and vice versa -- which it thinks could inhibit competition in the broadband Internet market, and leave many customers without coverage.
FCC to Release Second Broadband Performance/Speed Report
The FCC will release its second broadband speed and performance test results at its July 19 meeting.
FCC Chief Blasts Russia for Passing Internet Censorship Bill
Julius Genachowski, chairman of the FCC, issued a statement slamming Russia for passing a bill that would allow the government to blacklist certain websites.
Submarine Cable Operators to FCC: Don't Make Us Pay into Broadband Fund
A coalition of submarine cable operators is balking at a proposal that would end their exemption from contributing to the Universal Service Fund, a pool of money intended to improve access to telecommunications across America.
Study Shows Americans Expect Mobile Phone Data Privacy
A study of 1,200 households from the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology reveals that the majority of Americans believe they should have a high level of privacy when it comes to the data on their mobile phones. Americans expect more privacy, in fact, than they likely have.
Mobile Ad Networks Accused of Invasive Apps
Mobile apps are aggressively placing unwanted ads on phones. Lookout, a mobile security firm in San Francisco, tested mobile apps and found some disturbing practices. Those include transmitting consumer phone numbers and email addresses and transmitting to third parties and placing ads on the mobile phone's desktop.
Markey Presses DoJ for Policies on Gathering Phone Records
Rep. Ed Markey asked the Justice Department to explain its policies for gathering data from mobile phones. Markey, who co-chairs the Congressional Privacy Caucus, reported that wireless carriers responded to 1.3 million requests from law enforcement agencies last year. The data requested included text messages, wiretaps and geolocation information and prompted Markey and other privacy advocates to call for more controls and transparency for government information gathering.
Can Republic Wireless Take the Headache Out of Finding Wi-Fi?
Republic Wireless drew lots of attention last year when it announced an unlimited data-and-calling plan for $19 a month, with no contract. How's that possible in a world where $80 bills are the norm and unlimited data plans are disappearing? The answer, Republic hopes, is Wi-Fi. By keeping people connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot whenever possible, the startup incurs no cellular bandwidth charges.
The Burying of Digg, by the Numbers
Digg announced that it's been acquired by Betaworks -- for a purchase price of $500,000. Not $500 million, mind you; $500,000. While the tone of the acquisition announcement is sunny, the purchase price serves as a reminder of how far the ur-social news site has fallen since its halcyon days. Days before Facebook, Twitter and reddit came along to bury it.
U.S. Pursuing a Middleman in Web Piracy
Richard O'Dwyer, an enterprising 24-year-old college student from northern England, has found himself in the middle of a fierce battle between two of America's great exports: Hollywood and the Internet.