Posts tagged with: FCC
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    When you pay Netflix to connect you with streaming on-demand entertainment each month, do you assume you're getting the same experience as every other customer? Of course; why wouldn't you think that? So it came as a big surprise last week when we learned that Netflix had taken it upon itself to artificiality limit the bandwidth made available to users accessing Nextflix over AT&T and Verizon wireless networks, throttling connections to a mere 600kbps as part of some self-imposed role to help “protect consumers from exceeding mobile data caps.” If that sounded all sorts of wrong to ...

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    At 6pm Eastern on March 29, all the possible US TV stations that would like to sell their broadcast spectrum will have committed to do so. From there, the Federal Communications Commission will work on a blueprint to sort out how that spectrum in the 600MHz band can be put together for sale. That leads up to the next step for the commission in the auctions process, setting up a clearing target. The order of things The clearing target is the total amount of spectrum the FCC thinks can be sold in auction. The government currently estimates a high-end of that total to be 126MHz. Analysts ...

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    Samsung's latest flagship smartphones are here, as the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are already showing up in the hands of users, but we've been following rumors suggesting that the manufacturer's not quite done with its new launches just yet. For the past few weeks now, we've taken to assembling a growing body of evidence pointing to the company's plans for the Galaxy A9 Pro, a solidly-equipped six-inch mid-ranger. Last week we got to take a look at the model as it swung by China's TENAA for certification-duty, and now we're watching the smartphone make another stop on its regulatory ...

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    Honesty is the best policy, but it didn't appear on Verizon Wireless's policy until a year ago. We're talking about "Supercookies," Unique Identifier Headers attached to traffic made through Verizon's network used in order to serve ads from Verizon's vendor network. The FCC found that Big Red had implemented UIDHs as early as December 2012 and did not tell its customers until October 2014. Its privacy policy only started to cover UIDHs from March 2015. At least one of Verizon's ad vendors used the UIDHs for replanting cookies on users that chose to deny that vendor's cookies. UIDHs also ...

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    Right now, Samsung's Galaxy S7 is casting a shadow so large, it's difficult to keep the rest of the company’s lineup in sight. But soon our myopia will begin to pass, and with the GS7 going official in just a few days, we can begin to return some much-needed attention to the other devices starting to make their way out of Samsung's development pipeline. One we've been keeping an eye our for lately is the 2016 edition of the Galaxy J7, which early specs outed as a very respectable upper mid-ranger. Some of the details are still up in the air (and recent reports raise questions about our ...

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    With the upcoming Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, we're hoping that Samsung has learned some important lessons from last year's flagship offerings. To that end, we're not expecting any big, radical changes from either model, but instead a refinement of existing designs, and correcting some oversights that left us wanting just a little bit more last time around. That extends to the batteries in these phones, and while it's nice to see that Samsung plans on releasing some battery-boosting accessories, we've also been pleased to hear that both GS7 phones should be landing with some generous ...

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    The fallout from the defense of T-Mobile's Binge On program streams on. In its short existence as an Un-carrier feature, the zero-rated video streaming service has gotten into hot water from the EFF while piquing the interest of the FCC. All the while, the company's CEO John Legere ferociously stood ground in not only the net neutral status of the program, but in its good value to customers and content providers. Stanford University Professor and Director of the school's Center for Internet and Society Barbara van Schewick has published a whitepaper arguing that Binge On does not comport ...

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    So much of the conversation surrounding the movement for net neutrality has focused on the idea of preventing the ascension of a two-tiered internet system: a “good” internet for players willing to pay up, and a second-rate internet for everyone else. So it's no surprise that as more and more mobile providers strike deals with content providers that promise to bring users free (or not counting against monthly data allowances) access to their services, federal regulators have been taking note. The FCC has been meeting with carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile over the issue, and while we ...

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    Those worrying about cascading impacts from the still-new zero-rated data programs have been looking toward what the FCC might assess them as. Are they net neutral policies or not? T-Mobile has had a colorful month in defending its own Binge On scheme from criticism while AT&T and Comcast have their own programs as well. The Commission asked representatives from the three companies to meet with them for discussions. Republican commissioners called it a "witch hunt" for shaming and regulation. But, after the discussions were done and over with, an FCC spokesperson has said that: FCC ...

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    Those who are looking forward to getting over the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL already are hoping that a mid-range device will save every one of us. The hope is that Windows 10 Mobile will work way better here than it did on those flagship products. And it better be better-built while the folks are at it! Now, FCC certification documents don't really tell of anything in those veins, but we do have one of Microsoft's products through the commission labelled "RM-1152," supposedly what we're calling the Microsoft Lumia 650. Certification is also not an indicator of release date, but hey, the ...

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    T-Mobile claims that its zero-rated data scheme for video is not "throttling," a claim YouTube and the Electronic Frontier Foundation don't agree with. But whether or not you appreciate the delicate regulatory aspects of such programs like Binge On — and believe you me, the FCC is certainly interested — is irrelevant here. If you're a T-Mobile subscriber, be it for a capped or unlimited LTE data plan, you're automatically opted-in to Binge On. And if what the EFF found out about the program irks you, you do have the option to turn it off. Thing is, T-Mobile doesn't make it easy. There ...

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    This development may put the FCC's meeting with T-Mobile in a new light — and perhaps the meetings with AT&T and Comcast as well. After YouTube took first spat against T-Mobile's Binge On program that zero-rated end users' costs for access to 480p video. That's so long as video providers ask to be on the program, which is free to participate in. YouTube was and is not a partner in the program and the company is claiming that its video is being "throttled" down to 480p. T-Mobile responded with a different term, "downgraded," which supposedly conforms with net neutrality. The ...

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    Just because HTC is asking us to ease our excitement for an off-schedule release of its virtual reality offspring with partner Valve doesn't mean that we shouldn't get excited about seeing the cogs in motion. That said, the hardware doesn't mean too much when everything's a peripheral for your power-packed computer and has been in development for a long time. But does it have to be all strings attached? Could we see you break from them? [gallery columns="4" ids="459123,459124,459125,459126"] Software will likely be the real culprit of HTC's success or failure based on this early turn of ...

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    With a device name that rhymes and a great vibe going into the largest trade show on earth, Huawei only needs to sort its paper affairs before it can start selling the Mate 8 in the United States. All neon lights are pointing to Las Vegas and to CES for an announcement to happen and this development gives that thought a nudge. The Huawei Mate 8 has passed its certifications FCC. The model number, as suggested by the FCC ID tag, seems to be NXT-L09, which differs from the international version's NXT AL-10. Other than antennas, we're not certain of what changes lie ahead of us, though the ...

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    Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler previously spoke of T-Mobile's new Binge On service rather kindly, calling the paid-for streaming data perk "highly innovative and highly competitive." The FCC is also eyeing AT&T as it has a Data Perks program that trades filling sponsored surveys for up to an extra gigabyte on your account each month. And in those veins, Comcast has introduced an unlimited access "Stream TV" program that is described as "a cable service that only works in the customer's home." Today, Wheeler announced that he's requested meetings with the three ...

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    Samsung's got a bevy of new Galaxy A smartphones on the way, including both new models and rehashes of some of the first-gen Galaxy A-series devices. In terms of the latter, we've been expecting new versions of the Galaxy A3, A5, and A7, with new evidence for these devices arriving all the time. Over the course of the past week, that's meant a number of appearances for the new Galaxy A7 in regulatory paperwork, popping up at both the Bluetooth SIG and at China's TENAA. Now it's the FCC's turn to weigh in, and its own docs shed a little new light on the smartphone's hardware. Manufacturers ...

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    Earlier this month T-Mobile announced its latest Un-carrier hook, giving users access to streaming video that didn't count against their data plan with its Binge On system. No sooner was Binge On announced, though, than it seemed like the service brought all manner of critics out of the woodwork. Beyond our own concerns over reduced video quality, and statements from other carriers about possible network congestion, we saw plenty of you readers sounding off in the comments with questions about net neutrality: was this free pass for certain streaming video services (but not others) going to ...

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    T-Mobile has been chasing tails from the beginning of this spectrum auction process. It's been fortunate so far to have had a fairly clear berth from its smaller counterparts. It also claims to have up to $10 billion in its arsenal ready to bid — with more cash ready to go as the carrier sells some of its cell towers. Now, it's once again going after the nation's most popular network to put a cap on its quest for the 600MHz band. Specifically, we're talking about the reserve band of the 600MHz: approximately 40MHz of spectrum  reserved for carriers that own less than one-third of a ...

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    AT&T kicked off a flurry of carrier interest in WiFi-based voice calls last month when it petitioned the FCC for regulatory approval to work around existing voice-call rules for hearing-impaired users and implement its own WiFi-friendly system. The FCC was quick to give AT&T the go-ahead, and just days later we saw the carrier formally launch WiFi calling with iPhone support. Verizon execs sure seemed to have taken notice of AT&T's actions, and later in October we learned that the carrier had petitioned the FCC for its own WiFi-call-enabling waiver. Today we get word that the ...

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    Internet connectivity while travelling across the country is kinda tough. If you don't have unlimited data and a good Wi-Fi hotspot data stash, you're left clinging to airports, restaurants, city parks and hotels. Sometimes, at nasty costs. If that weren't enough, Hilton Hotels made it harder for those who had their own Wi-Fi hotspots to use them at their lodging resorts — just to corral them over to its paid internet services. Turns out, the Federal Communications Commission hates that kind of thing. And with an investigation dragging out way too long since we first reported on it last ...

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    The rise and fall of Chinese upstart Xiaomi has been a curious one. It rose out of cheap hardware, flash sales and a strong online community. It's being eaten up by not terribly cheap hardware, sale invites and strong online communities. The graph lines went up. They're going down now. What is Xiaomi to do? Well, it's something we've talked about. No, we're not going to see the Xiaomi Mi 5 on American shores, but we are getting a mean device tiptoeing between power for pennies: the Redmi 2 Pro. No, it's not exactly like the Redmi 2A. After all, we trade the Leadcore SoC for a Qualcomm one ...

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    Earlier this month, AT&T reached out to the FCC in an effort to get started with offering WiFi-based calling. Whereas T-Mobile and Sprint just kinda dove right in, regulatory approval be damned, AT&T wanted to double-check that it was doing things the right way, especially when it came to delivering services for hearing-impaired customers. The FCC thought that AT&T's proposal sounded good, and in a matter of days we saw FCC approval arrive, followed immediately by AT&T getting WiFi calls started for iPhone users. Verizon must have paying attention to AT&T's actions, and ...

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    It's been a while in the making and it's going to be a while to follow it all. But as the fight for 600MHz is garnering a lot of attention and a lot of strongarming by T-Mobile, we're keeping tabs on the latest bit of the US's public airwaves to transition from broadcast TV use to cellular network traffic. And the latest bit of news on that latest bit of airwaves is that the Federal Communications Commission has announced opening asking prices for TV stations' spectrums. Stations that currently broadcast near or in the 600MHz range have the options to either move to a lower frequency or go ...

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    OnePlus has a press event coming up in India next week, where the company says it will show off “the next big step” for its phones. And while it hasn't confirmed so, rumors sure suggest that we're about to see the debut of a new, smaller handset, tipped to launch as the OnePlus Mini or OnePlus X. We've already heard about some possible specs, and today we pick up what might just be some hard evidence for the phone's existence, as the FCC publishes certification docs for a new OnePlus phone. In a rare treat for FCC paperwork (especially concerning an unreleased device), we've actually ...

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    For all the efforts cellular operators undertake to improve the quality and breadth of their networks, sometimes you just can't seem to lock on to a strong signal. Whether that's because you're out in the country, or so deep in the urban jungle that signals struggle to penetrate through to your forty-third-floor cubicle, it's always nice to have a backup plan. If you've got a fast local network, WiFi can pick up that slack in a pinch, and if your carrier also supports WiFi-based calling, you can even stay in touch with full voice coverage. Last week we heard about AT&T's efforts to ...

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