June 2, 2010 |
Federal regulators want to know just how fast you're surfing, and they're looking for 10,000 volunteers to submit to a speed check. Four out of five high-speed Internet users don't know how fast their home connections are, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Federal Communications Commission. That leaves those consumers unsure whether they're getting what they're paying for, and it hinders them in shopping for better service from competing Internet service providers, agency officials said.
May 7, 2010
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski's proposal Thursday to give his agency rulemaking power over broadband Internet access services sent some telecommunications industry allies — and even some FCC members — into apoplexy. The move would kill innovation! It would stifle investment! The critics' bromides notwithstanding, Genachowski's approach is hardly a frontal assault on the Net. It's a reasonable attempt to apply narrow rules to a part of the Internet where there's insufficient competition: broadband access services.
May 7, 2010 |
The Federal Communications Commission has come up with a new way to apply some net neutrality rules that would force Comcast Corp., AT&T Inc. and other broadband Internet service providers to handle all Web traffic the same, without imposing limits on users or blocking websites. Its proposal released Thursday is aimed at blunting an April federal appeals court ruling involving Comcast that found the agency had limited authority to regulate broadband Internet service. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement that the Comcast decision had created a "serious problem" and that his agency believes more regulation of broadband Internet service is needed, though not the heavier restrictions that apply to telephone companies.
April 13, 2010
Faced with a pandemic of online piracy, Hollywood studios and the major record labels have pressed governments around the world to make it easier for them to enforce their copyrights. In particular, they've tried to shift responsibility for infringements from the individuals who commit them -- who are legion and hard to identify -- to targets that are easier to hit. And gradually, they have been succeeding. The latest example is a hotly disputed British law that sets new rules for digital broadcasting and the Internet.
April 8, 2010
A federal appeals court reined in the Federal Communications Commission this week, ruling that it overstepped its authority when it penalized Comcast for surreptitiously disabling a popular technology that let people share files online. But the ruling did not quell the commission's interest in regulating the way Internet service providers such as Comcast manage their networks. Instead, it set up a potential fight over whether the commission's regulatory authority should be expanded, either by Congress or the commission itself.
April 7, 2010 |
In a case with wide-ranging ramifications for how Americans use the Internet, an appeals court Tuesday struck down a federal rule that required broadband providers to keep their networks open -- even to bandwidth hogs. The decision appears to give telecommunications companies a free hand to limit or block people from watching videos or accessing other online content that they have become increasingly accustomed to downloading with ease. It could also allow Internet service providers to charge a premium to websites for fast delivery of their content.
March 27, 2010 |
Google Inc.'s announcement last month that it would build a high-speed broadband network set off fierce competition among 600 communities, the Internet powerhouse said in a blog post Friday. Google hasn't been specific about the criteria in selecting which community will get the experimental fiber optic hookup, simply saying it wants to increase Internet access and spur competition. The service would offer connection speeds of 1 gigabit per second -- 100 times faster than many high-speed home connections, the company said.
March 24, 2010
Money and politics Re "Whitman wealth effect," March 18 What boggles the mind is how easily voters seem to have been suckered by gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's slick media blitz when her three-part plan for California -- repeated over and over -- makes absolutely no sense: "fix" education, create jobs and cut spending. With California education already severely underfunded, how do we "fix" it by spending even less? Whitman claims to know something about how to create jobs from her EBay experience.
March 19, 2010 |
Federal authorities are taking a kind of national census of broadband Internet access speeds -- a nifty idea that could be a huge help in breaking the United States out of the high-speed slow lane. But, as you'll see, good luck finding a speedometer that works. The nationwide tally of access speeds is part of a 10-year plan unveiled this week by the Federal Communications Commission to overhaul the nation's broadband system. High-speed Internet access is increasingly important as content grows more data-rich (movies, TV shows, etc.)