Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Libertarian sources remind us how FCC has regulated media in the past


The Cato Institute has provided a link to a paper from two George Mason University professors, Brnet Skorup and Christopher Koopman, “The FCC’s Transaction Reviews, the First Amendment, and the Rule of Law”, in the Winder 2016-2017 issue of “Regulation”, pdf here.

The paper points out that the FCC can compel major broadcasters (but not necessarily cable networks) to cover material with specific minority focus, and has done so.

On the other hand, network neutrality legislation might run against business model interests of communications providers and might make the promulgation of fake news more difficult to meet.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Phone slamming, explained


Here’s a bizarre problem:  small businesses suddenly finding their landlines have been taken over by a “slamming” company without their permission.

Some small businesses have found their phones unusable,  for weeks, and customers have been unable to process credit charges.

WJLA Seven On Your Side was able to solve a problem for one company, story here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

T-Mobile criticizes Verizon on data limits, and Verizon answers


Verizon has answered T-Mobile ads aimed at the data limits war.  T-Mobile says it has a newer network and that Verizon needs limits because it’s 4G LTE network is 6 years old. Verizon answered me with this tweet, saying its coverage is wider and actually more advanced technically, link here.
 
What would be important would be extension to another company anywhere Verizon doesn’t have service.  (Oh, yes, there are no cell phones near Green Bank, W Va).

Friday, December 02, 2016

FCC interpretation of neutrality would stop ATT from offering Direct TV free of data charges, as "unfair competition"


ATT wants to exempt certain customers from data charges for streaming on its DirectTV (a practice called "zero rating"), yet the FCC is claiming that this would be unfair competition with Netflix and Hulu, story in the Wall Street Journal today here.  This sounds like a silly implementation of rules (or neutrality) that Donald Trump will want to overrule.

"Poor baby!"  Or Oh Baby, as in "Long Tall Sally".  Or, what a tender little baby, as playground kids would say.

Although I would have trouble with mounting a dish.  I'm not a climber.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Some cities (esp. in California) want to impose a "streaming tax"


More cities in California are considering adding "streaming" taxes that would, at first, mainly affect Netflix viewers, as explained in this Los Angeles Times story.  Illinois and Pennsylvania also have cities with some similar taxes.

It would seem that the taxes could affect other streaming services, like Amazon Prime and iTunes.

Is it based on hours watched, or simply based on the monthly subscription rate?

I thought it was common for Amazon to charge sales tax on mp3 and digital movie rentals and purchases online as retail events, in some states.

But cities are trying to claim that this is a "utility" tax.

Could "free" websites be affected? 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump could cancel FCC's net neutrality rules, which alarms some in Silicon Valley


“The Switch”, Brian Fung’s technology blog on the Washington Post, has a somewhat alarmist article Friday morning, November 11, 2016, on p. A25, “Obama’s big Internet policies may be at risk; Trump could dismantle net neutrality, among others, analysts say”, link here.  Note the comments by me, and several by "Imscavo", especially about access to porn sites and link to an article about download speeds from Netflix in early 2014, here. I had a slowdown in my (Xfinity) access to Netflix and Amazon videos in late 2015, which improved this spring.

Particularly alarming are statements in the article, “it is Illegal for Internet providers such as Comcast and ATT to put up barriers to the websites consumers want to reach… And they cannot demand special payments from website operators just so that the sites’ content can reach Internet users.”

That would, taken literally, seem to threaten me, probably not on “free services” like Blogger and YouTube, but on hosted domains.

However, as Wikipedia explains  most of Obama’s “legacy” came into being in early 2015 when the FCC classified broadband and cable or optical providers as “common carriers” like phone companies.

The Los Angeles Times has a more temperate account, by Jim Puzzanghera of what the new administration and Congress would do with net neutrality, here.    Republicans don't object to some rules, like blocking legal content, but don't think telecomm companies should be viewed as telephone companies.  As a practical matter, it wouldn't make a lot of sense for a telecomm provider suddenly to charge small publishers to allow connections, simply because they would have less to offer customers (unless they were settling up special child-friendly networks for families with children, for example, or special networks for certain kinds of businesses).



In all the years since I first had my own domains (1997) I never had an issue with any restriction of access to any of my sites.

Trump would presumably have the power to cancel FCC regulations like this the day he took office.

There is an arguable benefit to the public in allowing carriers to offer fast tracks for extremely high volume providers – in that telecom companies might have more incentive to up data limits (especially in wireless) and improve stability and speed.  But that could provide a barrier to entry, not so much for content publishers as for new kinds of intermediary service providers or new app developers.

This whole topic will deserve further commentary, on my Wordpress blogs. My own feeling is that there is more potential threat to Internet publishers in the Section 230 area than anything else.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cell phones don't always provide reliable info to 911 centers


Telecommunications providers are not always required to use standard firmware in locating you when you place a 911 call, which can make it difficult for police to find you in emergencies.

The FCC has been criticized for not regulating 911 technology more closely. Users should consider using landlines if possible (which may not be so in some crime situations).

MPR news has a recently story on the issue.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 problem: could this happen with other devices?


The FAA has taken draconian action against owners of all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, as this story on WJLA reports.People may have to abandon them to return home from flights.  Even replacement phones have been reported to smolder, so passengers bear the loss from the remote chances of incidents on aircraft.

I do wonder what would happen if some incident occurs with another smartphone, or with a laptop of some kind.  Can we be sure this cannot happen to any other models?

There simply is not an adequate infrastructure for travelers to rent computer and communications equipment on the road.

Back around 2000, I was content to travel with nothing, depending on occasional visits to Kinkos that I could find to stay wired.  I’d have to call a home number to check for messages.  That used to be good enough.  No more.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Comcast will enforce data limits in some states


Brian Fung reports that Comcast/Xfinity will enforce charges for usage over data-caps (about 1 terabyte) in about 16 states,

Users will be warned at 80%, and few home users are likely to be affected.  But there could be problems in households where several people like to watch lots of movies.

Still, this news makes landline connections sound a little more like wireless.
 
This story is getting a lot of buzz on Twitter.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Facebook wants basic Internet service for low income people to follow "It's free"


Facebook wants to set up partnerships with wireless providers that would enable Facbeook to help low income families get limited “free” Internet, possibly around the world as well as here. Brian Fung has a detailed story in the Washington Post.
  
But some providers, like Comcast Xfinity, are starting to offer very low cost basic Internet.
   
The underlying controversy is the same as in the content area: how can you compete with “It’s free”? 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Samsung Recall: disruptive for consumers, and how necessary is it?


Android Central has a full story on how consumers should handle recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s. The story is a little slow to load, but important.

The advice is to turn it off, don’t charge it again, and return it.  There is a way to look at the purchase box and see if your phone is affected.

If you bought it from a physical store, it’s generally not bad.  If the replacement phone is not in stock, most stores will let you exchange for a comparable phone.  But you may lose your content, like contact lists and apps.  If your phone is on now, you may want to back it up on a computer (and then thumb drive) before you turn it off.

If ordered online, it could be a bigger problem to get the phone replaced.



The phone is capable of causing house fires or fires inside cars or planes. But the danger appears to happen only when charging.  It’s happened to about 35 of over a million phones (video above).  Generally, home users should monitor any battery when charging.  It’s the non-removable battery (made by a separate manufacturer, apparently in South Korea) that has a potential problem.

CNN’s warning (“power down now”, quoting Samsung and the fibbies) is pretty stern.

Generally, I think when people are away from phone for a long time, most electronics left at home should be powered off, or not left near flammable materials.  Power strips, and even surge protectors, should be turned off if not really needed.  They can also be kept away from flammable materials or rugs.  Areas kept clean and orderly are probably safer and less susceptible to unusual fires. Frequent travelers need a checklist and “routine” to travel safely.  People who have to travel to perform (like musicians) are good at this.



Update: Oct. 7

There are scattered reports of replacement phones having problems, and of phones turned on catching fire even when not plugged in. 

Thursday, September 01, 2016

"Unlimited data plans" for wireless have some drawbacks, especially for travel hotspot heavy use


Sprint and T-Mobile have started offering plans that claim to offer unlimited data.
But many plans slow down speed or reduce video quality after certain threshholds are met.  And some plans will limit data quality when devices are tethered as hot spots rather than used directly on phones.

Curiously, some plans offer better deals if the users engage them every day rather than sporadically.
This feature would be problematic for me.  I tether wireless hotspots when a main carrier goes down (as after a storm), or when traveling (as motel free wireless is often less reliable and less secure).  On a trip last week, I actually forget to take the Ellipsis hotspot (it’s hard to remember everything when rushing out the door with a deadline) but I did take the iPad and it worked fine, although it’s a little slower than the newer Ellipsis.

Ryan Knutson and Thomas Gryta have a detailed story in the Wall Street Journal Aug 30 (paywall) here.

Drew FitzGerald has a similar article, “5 things to know” about these plans, with discussion of throlling.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Google's fiber-optic plans stall; wild grape vines can affect cable connection wires


Jack Nicas of the Wall Street Journal reports that “Google’s Fiber Plans Stall” in the August 15m 2016 front page for the paper, link .

Google’s holding company, Alphabet, officially uses Google Fiber as its own internet provider. Google is starting to ask cities or communities to build their own networks using its technology.

There is still an advantage to being able to get video quality broadband wirelessly, without building a bricks and mortar infrastructure at all, but data plans resist this.
 
Recently, I had an episode of pixilation on my cable TV (not Internet) and found that outside some wild grape had attached itself to my cable line and could pull it with wind.  Cutting it off seemed to fix the problem.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Rural electric cooperatives take the lead in proving broadband web in remote areas


Jim Kerstetter and Cecilia Kang explain in the New York Times how rural electric cooperatives have taken the lead in proving broadband Internet to the most rural remote areas, link here.

The script follows the way things worked during the New Deal.
 
Will this help when I travel in West Virginia?  On my most recent trip, I could get Extended 1X in some places on my Verizon – but somehow the last time, the web worked on 1X.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Verizon will collar its remaining "unlimited data" customers


Verizon will cut off some remaining unlimited data customers if they don’t tone down by the end of August.  If users with suspended accounts don’t sign on for a new plan, they will be terminated.  Ars Technica has the story by Jon Brodki   and PC World elaborates here.

Heavy users want the gaming (Pokemon) and movie streaming without the vulnerability (like to storms) of over-ground hard wired connections.

But it’s like asking why CNN Go doesn’t stream everything.

Many newer web hosting services offer “unlimited bandwidth” but sill test for “reasonableness” (to stop DDOS, too).

By the way, I still find Verizon has very limited service in West Virginia, although “Extended 1X” works in some places.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cell phone reception "casualty" sign in the North Carolina Blue Ridge


Driving into Blowing Rock NC , on the east side of US 221, there’s a little antique (and used books) store with an interesting sign outside about cell phone reception as well as GPS and WiFi.  You can get Verizon LTE inside the store and for part of the parking lot, but not 200 feet away, apparently.  Towers are nearby.  The only explanation would be mountain topography. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

FCC wins big in court on network neutrality


Timothy B. Lee of Vox has explained a federal DC circuit ruling  (a 2-1 decision) today allowing the Federal Communications Commission to impose network neutrality on major telecomm providers.  The court agreed that, after all previous litigation was said and done, that the FCC has the legal right to declare that it regular major providers as telecommunications companies and not information providers.
 

 
 Therefore, if a company like Comcast Xfinity provides basic telecommunications (cable and broadband Internet and digital voice) and chooses also to provide email and news stories, it still has to follow net neutrality rules as far as the use of its network is concerned.  Facebook, since it doesn’t provide a hardware backbone, would not.  (Google could be getting close to the line with its fiber optic experiments.)

Cecila Kang of the New York Times writes that the Court found that the Internet as a utility, not a luxury.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Repair service for cable, high speed Internet needs the same priority as traditional phone


Horace Holms, of ABC7News (WJLA) in Washington DC, reports on very slow customer service from Comcast from a DC area customer who called to report downed wires in her backyard. Although "7 on your side" got Comcast to fix the problem, the company would not give the television station an interview.

It seems that the standard response time is 72 hours. I’ve generally gotten response sooner than that (except after the 2012 derecho, where contractors would not come until power was restored in many areas, not just mine).

In an era when Internet access is a utility, this hardly seems acceptable.  But in early 2005, we had a case of a downed telephone landline, owned by Verizon but service from ATT, on a Friday morning. The line was not restrung until Monday afternoon.

Monday, April 25, 2016

More Americans depend entirely on wireless and mobile for their online experience, dispensing with cable and even PC's


Americans are gradually abandoning wired Internet, according to a major story in the Washington Post by Brian Fung today, Monday, April 25, 2016, p. A12
 
One of the biggest reasons is cost.  Another is vulnerability.  Hardwired connections are more vulnerable to disruption due to storms or other incidents in an area.  But generally mobile connections have data limits, even though speeds are rapidly improving. Another problem is that some of the best plans (as far as possible unlimited data is concerned) apply in limited geographical areas or require several devices.

I still think the telecomm industry needs more incentive to do something about this problem.

But the article seems to suggest that more customers are satisfied to limit most of their experience to mobile devices, rather than PC’s, which are not always adequate for production and consumption of more complex content (although we’re seeing people read more books on tablets as well as Kindles). A mobile screen is not as effective for video as a large home plasma TV or even a large PC monitor.

Quentin Hardy and Mike Isaac have a New York Times article Monday April 25, 2016, p. B1, “Facebook’s plan for cheap, Global access” which will put pressure on hardware manufacturers to serve customers in developing countries.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

"Digital divide" still hampers public schools in low income rural areas, especially in the Sotuh


Rural schools in the south often have poor and unreliable Internet connections, because telecomm communities don’t find servicing lower income rural areas very profitable and there is a lack of competition. The front page Washington Post story Saturday by Chico Harlan is “A poor connection to modern life: The financial decisions of telecomm companies have left many rural students with sub-par Internet”.
 
The school at issue is Monroe Intermediate in Lower Peach Tree, SW of Montgomery. Not only are speeds subpar, but long outages are common, interfering with curricula.


 
This all refers to the “digital divide” in public education.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

FIOS and cable Verizon consumers may face long outages in CWA strike; can management really climb utility poles and do this kind of work?


The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has gone on strike against Verizon Communications, after months of working without a contract, as explained in this ArsTechnica story by Jon Brodkin   There were vocal demonstrations in Falls Church VA and Brooklyn NY, before the debates.



Verizon claims non-union, management people have been trained to do the work, which is mostly landline service and perhaps FIOS.  I wonder if white collar computer workers are really prepared to climb poles.  I did “strike duty” for NBC on a soap opera in 1976 and learned to operate a sound boom (and avoid boom shadows).

But “Patch” warns that the strike in practice could leave some Verizon cable and FIOS customers without cable for weeks if there are outages.  I personally would not switch to FIOS from something else during the strike, and the union obviously expects consumers to force the company to settle, with almost a kind of Bolshevist solidarity tactic.   I don’t think wireless is affected;  but I just checked my own hotspot.  It was a little slower than usual.

Verizon has its own account of the strike here.  My experience with Comcast is that it seems to hire contractors to do the work (not union employees).  What about Verizon?



Update: May 31

Verizon and the union have settled, for four years, and people return to work June 1, WSJ story.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

EFF warns HR 2666 could end net neutrality


Electronic Frontier Foundation has warned about HR 2666 which would prohibit from FCC from regulating rates or access to services relative to data transmitted as opposed to the connection itself.
 
EFF says that it would undermine the FCC’s ability to guarantee an open Internet.  But there is considerable controversy over this.  It would seem that Congress wants to allow companies to set up fast lanes (rather like low-traffic toll lanes on interstates)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Internet has become a necessary utility, and you need dependable infrastructure, and control of your neighbors


Here’s an important part of network neutrality, in practice:  it’s called stable infrastructure.
 
If you live in a home in a suburb with older above-ground power and cable connections, you need to have it built resilient enough to withstand severe storms.  Trees left too close to power lines and homes are a big problem.  You can’t control what neighbors do, and there have been cases where companies have refused to repair cable service until a neighbor’s tree was removed, which the homeowner has no control over.  A home renter has even less control.
 
That’s while wireless has a big advantage – it can’t be blown down.  But then you run into the data limits.
 
We aren’t quite to the point that we treat Internet service as a necessary utility rather than a persona luxury.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Netflix takes steps to deal with Verizon, ATT data limits, creating controversy


Netflix admits that it is slowing down speeds for some customers of Verizon and ATT, to help them deal with data limits.  Brian Fung has the story with video in the Washington Post, p A12, Saturday March 26, 2016.  Ironically, Netlifx has already pressured Verizon to do something about this.  Fung’s video explains that your connection needs a minimum speed for Netlfix to work at all.  Netflix will add some new tools in May for consumers to manage data use.

The most generous data plan offered by Verizon is just 8 GB a month.  That would probably allow the viewing about ten typical films in SD.  

I’m not much for watching movies on cell phones, but it is a problem that land-based hard-wired cable connections go down more often than wireless, and are harder to repair after damage (storms).  It would be great if unlimited data were more widely available without physical connections  I can’t speak to FIOS or to the Dish, but in general with Xfinity there are some problems with maintaining quality connections all the time, even though there are effectively almost no limits.

Others have reported problems with accessing Netflix on Verizon FIOS.



Recently, I’ve had a problem with Google products on Xfininty, stalling out wit Protocol (checksum) errors.  That seems to have been resolved now.  To measure Xfinity connection speed , it seems that you need the latest version of Flash, and that works better for me on the Mac (Safari) than on Windows;  I don’t know why.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

FCC stays the course on regulating telecomm providers and their use of consumer PII


The New York Times has summarized the latest FCC actions with respect to consumer privacy from snooping by telecomm companies in an editorial Sunday here.

The comment period runs through March 31, for rules that should go into effect before the election.

Telecomm companies would be allowed to collect information from subscribers to offer deals only with permission.  The companies say the rules are unnecessary because critical consumer communications are encrypted.  The FCC says that the regulations would be the same as they have been for phone companies in the past.
 
Service providers are not held to this requirement because they are in the business of actually managing content.  Telecomms could enjoy the same privileges (including Section 230 and DMCA Safe Harbor) only by forming independent subsidiaries to manage content.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

FCC wants to resurrect Lifeline to help low-income consumers get minimal broadband


Brian Fung writes in the Washington Post, Wednesday March 9, 2016,  p. A15, that the FCC wants to offer low-income consumers a discount or subsidy of $9.25 a month to get broadband Internet.

 This could be accomplished with land connections (download speeds of at least 10 Bpps and upload of 1) or Cellular (at least 3G).  The idea is to reissue a program called Lifeline.

FCC has an old link on the matter back in 2015. https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-takes-steps-modernize-and-reform-lifeline-broadband

Here is a depiction of Lifeline by Century Link.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Verizon fined for misuse of "super-cookies" that violate net neutrality transparency rules


The FCC has fined Verizon $1.35 for implementing “super cookie” tracking outside of the legal practice of “opt-in”.  The Verge has a story by Jacob Kastrenakes.

The super-cookie could supersede normal cookie deletion and “do not track” settings.  An advertising company called “Turn”  had developed a way to “repawn” traditional cookies.

Jon Brodkin writes in Ars Technica that the super-cookies violated net neutrality transparency rules  . Andrea Peterson has a story in the Washington Post, p. A15, here.

The technology could conceivably create a security hazard and allow people to be stalked.

The issue is a bit disturbing because Verizon hotspots are particularly useful when traveling, or when normal cable is down.  I have been having some trouble accessing Google products efficiently with Xfinity lately and sometimes use the Verizon hotspot on my iPhone instead.  It seems that the connection is better when logged on to Xfinity for streaming services, and I’m not sure if this finding would be completely compliant with net neutrality rules now.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

FCC wants to force cable industry to reduce anti-competition clauses with content providers, before approving merger of Time Warner and Charter


The Wall Street Journal, in a Business and Tech page lead story Monday, February 29, reports that “FCC probes Cable’s influence on Web TV” in a story by John D. McKinnon.

At issue is the practice that when telecommunications  cable or FIOS companies like Comcast and Time Warner develop contracts with programming channels offering content, they insist on clauses that minit the content providers from offering programming on the Internet directly (outside of cable) except under certain conditions, such as a requirement that the program has already aired on cable and that the home user has to be logged on to a paid subscription cable account to view the program.
 
That is why some companies like Netflix that offer content offer streaming only and don’t have cable channels at all.  This may be another reason (indirectly) why there seem to be data limits on true wireless (making it relatively expensive although very reliable), when compared to land-based high-speed Internet access sold with cable or fios packages (which are more prone to service disruptions).  The FCC may insist on a loosening of the rules to approve a merger between Time Warner and Charter, maybe a big deal in the NYC area especially.  This could benefit some consumers.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Facebook's "Free Basics" would violate India's network neutrality laws


I spoke too soon Tuesday, that not a lot was going on in the network neutrality world.  It seems that Facebook and Mark Zuckberberg were dealt a “setback” because the “Free Basics” service in India would violate that country’s network neutrality laws.  Jim Kerstetter explains here in the New York Times.
 
But it’s hard to see how you can supply Internet communications to low income populations overseas (a very laudable philanthropic goal) without violating it.  So it is with the idea that "It's free".

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Libertarian ideas about net neutrality may return bigtime


I haven’t had much “net neutrality” news just recently, but I thought I would resurrect a May 2014 post from Forbes, “Am I the only techie against Net Neutrality?”  by Josh Steimie.

While he makes the usual libertarian arguments,  today a couple things stand out.  One is that in both the telecommunications backbone, and in actual platform provisions (publishing and social network) the world is indeed dominated by a few rich companies.  There are start-ups in services that are a bit peripheral (at least, they would have a hard time on “Shark Tank”).  This is a very different world from 1999, during the first Dot-com boom when there were so many little companies.

Another idea is that the need for physical ground connection may be going away.  Broadband wireless may be good enough soon that you really don’t need cable or fios, or Fios itself will have to be much better (like Google’s in a few test markets).  Direct TV seems technically better and more reliable than it was some years ago, and sometimes carries a few movies or events exclusively.

Another idea is that it is more difficult to do IPO’s than it used to be, partly because of stricter reporting requirements (or, as George Soros advocates, “better regulation”).  Mark Cuban (“Shark Tank”) has blogged about this recently, and it sounds like an important factor in the debate.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

New technology for super-fast wireless Internet by Starry could destroy traditional cable


Tech Republic reports that a super-fast Gigabit wireless Internet, developed by a startup called Starry from the founders of defrocked Aero, may soon come to some markets, in a story by Conner Forrest, here. The technology would use millimeter waves in the EHF (extremely high frequency) spectrum. The economic model for the service could encourage the ending of data limits, now common on wireless, and could support video and Internet TV.

The product could mean that land-linked cable would eventually become unnecessary.  Is this an existential threat to Comcast?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Local stations could disappear to FCC auction; ATT brings back unlimited cell data but with a real catch


Brian Fung reports the steps on an FCC airwave auction, one deadline passing Tuesday night, meaning “Your local TV station may have just secretly decided to go off the air”, the Washington Post, p. A15, Thursday. Smaller market stations might consolidate to sell space, meaning fewer channels, but the new space could support more high-end 4G wireless in rural areas.

I can remember, back in the late 1950s, some smaller markets (like Huntsville AL) had more small local stations than did Washington DC.

ATT is bringing back an unlimited data wireless plan, but with a catch.  You have to subscribe to its DirectTV or U-Verse TV, as CNET (Marguerite Reardon) explains here.

That wouldn’t sound practical for someone that already has cable.  For example, XFINITY is (for pragmatic purposes) unlimited, compared to Verizon mobile as a hot spot.  But Xfinity is dependent on a physical wire to your house, which can go down and can require service.  In practice, I use the Verizon hotspot (with data limits) on the road or when Xfinity goes down.  It would be desirable if Verizon would combine FIOS service for TV with unlimited data cellular.   It is not easy for someone to change providers quickly when he or she as a lot of everyday work to do (as I do).  You wonder how Comcast deals with all this in its sales rep training, which it pimps in TV spots.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

EFF considers 2015 a decent one for net neutrality


Jeremy Gillula has a piece for Electronic Frontier Foundation, reviewing the world of network neutrality debates.  It notes that in early 2015 it applauded the FCC’s decision to classify “retail broadband Internet” as a “telecommunications service”.  It also says it is supportive of the FCC in remaining a “giuoco piano” approach to enforcing do not track (DNT) rules.  (Well, the FCC can use the “Two Knights Defense”.)

EFF also supports caution in regulating LTE-U (unlicensed frequencies) which telecommunications companies want to expand for faster service, but at a cost.